Montgomery, AL – The Alabama Legislature returns after taking a 10-day spring break and will begin the second half of the 2012 session by starting to work on the cash-strapped General Fund budget to fund most non-education state agencies.
Montgomery, AL – The ex-husband of a woman jailed nine months on a charge of killing her newborn son said he opposes the state government paying her nearly $119,000 for wrongful incarceration.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ricky Lee of Carrollton said his ex-wife created her legal trouble by having an affair, getting pregnant and never seeking pre-natal care. He said a bill pending in the Legislature to give her nearly $119,000 for wrongful incarceration would reward her for bad choices.
Bridget Lee says she's not surprised because her husband is bitter.
Montgomery, AL – An alliance of union and civil rights groups opposed to Alabama's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law has filed a complaint with the United Nation's International Labor Organization.
The complaint Monday alleges that Alabama law violates international norms. It says the law and the U.S. government's inability to come up with a national immigration policy hurts workers and trade unions.
New Orleans, LA – BP PLC accuses the federal government of improperly withholding thousands of scientific documents that could show how the government estimated the amount of oil that spewed from the company's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Late Thursday, the oil company asked a federal court to require the government to turn over the documents. A federal judge in New Orleans didn't immediately rule.
Tuscaloosa, AL – Students in an Alabama school district will be allowed to take same-sex dates to prom after a student was told she couldn't.
The issue arose when Brookwood High School sophomore Elizabeth Garrett was told by an administrator to remove a sweat shirt with a pro-gay message. The administrator had earlier indicated that same-sex couples could not attend prom together.
A lawyer for the Tuscaloosa County School System school board says the district has never disallowed same-sex couples from attending prom and only clothing dubbed disruptive was prohibited.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama businesses are running out of time to comply with a new provision under the state's clampdown on illegal immigration.
Officials say every business in the state must enroll in the federal E-Verify program by April 1 to be in compliance with the law.
Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier says the law requires businesses to use the system to verify the legal citizenship status of new employees. And all businesses are affected, regardless of size.
Birmingham, AL – Already saddled with the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Jefferson County commissioners have voted to default on more than $15 million in bond payments due next week.
Commission President David Carrington says making the payment due Tuesday would threaten the operation of county government. So the commission passed a resolution Wednesday instructing the county manager to skip the payment.
The money that's due would repay general obligation bonds. The county's bankruptcy is linked more to debt from its sprawling sewer system.
Montgomery, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley's state finance director has asked state agency heads for ideas for legislation that could increase fees or provide help in some other way to ease cutbacks in the state General Fund budget.
Finance Director Marquita Davis said she's looking for inventive and innovative suggestions for addressing budget cuts. She said nothing is off the table, except tax increases. She gave agency heads until Wednesday afternoon to submit their ideas, and then she plans to share them with the governor and legislative budget chairmen.
Montgomery, AL – Two Mobile attorneys, including one who sued former Chief Justice Roy Moore over his Ten Commandments monument, are launching write-in campaigns to try to keep Moore from returning to the chief justice's office.
Ginger Poynter and Melinda Maddox said Moore's victory in the Republican primary March 13 prompted them to enter the race.
Birmingham, AL – Leaders in Alabama's largest city have voted to make Florida teenager Trayvon Martin an honorary citizen.
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to declare the 17-year-old an honorary citizen and voice its displeasure over the way his shooting death has been handled in Sanford, Fla.
Black male members of the Birmingham council wore hoodies during their meeting to show solidarity with Martin. The youth was also wearing a hoodie when he was fatally wounded by a neighborhood watch captain last month.
Montgomery, AL – A commission put together by Gov. Robert Bentley has made its first recommendations about the availability and affordability of homeowners' insurance.
The Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission decided Monday to back legislation that would create catastrophic savings accounts. These would give homeowners tax benefits on money they set aside to help pay costs from a major storm.
Montgomery, AL – The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved nearly $3.3 million in disaster assistance loans for Alabama residents and businesses affected by severe storms and tornadoes on Jan. 22-23.
The National Weather Service says at least six tornadoes skipped across central Alabama on those days.
An SBA spokesman in Atlanta said 47 loans have been approved for homes and businesses affected by those storms. The deadline to apply for loans to cover property damage is April 2. The deadline to apply for loans covering economic injury is Nov. 1.