Montgomery, AL – Gov. Robert Bentley's Medicaid commissioner, Bob Mullins Jr., has resigned after 14 months on the job.
Mullins announced his resignation Monday. He was a physician in Valley for more than 37 years and was a longtime friend of Bentley's before joining the governor's Cabinet in January 2011. Mullins said he came into the position with a clinical background, but a different set of skills is needed for the budget issues facing the agency.
Birmingham, AL – A federal judge in north Alabama has set the first two trials stemming from thousands of lawsuits filed nationwide against pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer over its stop-smoking product Chantix.
The United States Judicial Panel on Multistate Litigation consolidated the Chantix suits and assigned them to U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson.
Montgomery, AL – Two legislative budget chairmen have introduced bills aimed at restoring a settlement over Alabama's financially troubled prepaid college tuition plan.
The settlement called for the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan to pay tuition rates at fall 2010 levels instead of current levels.
The Alabama Supreme Court struck down the settlement a week ago. The court said the settlement violated a 2010 state law that provided extra money to the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan and said the program would be 100 percent funded.
Montgomery, AL – A federal appeals court has granted a stay of execution for an Alabama man who was set to die next week in a 1982 murder-for-hire case.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday postponed the execution of Thomas Douglas Arthur until further action of the court.
Earlier in the week the court had reversed a judge's decision to dismiss Arthur's appeal, which contended that Alabama's decision to use a new sedative called pentobarbital as part of a three-drug execution combination could be cruel and unusual punishment.
New Orleans, LA – More than 1,000 claimants have received around $27 million in the two weeks since a court-supervised administrator took over the processing of claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from BP PLC's $20 billion compensation fund.
A statement Friday by Patrick Juneau, the new claims administrator, also says nearly 5,000 new claims have been filed since the process shifted from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility to the court on March 8.
York, AL – The National Weather Service says heavy rains are causing flooding in parts of west Alabama.
Forecasters issued a flash flood warning for Sumter County near the Mississippi line on Friday. Authorities say floodwaters were getting into homes along Alabama 17.
The weather service also has issued a flood warning along the Tombigbee River. Forecasters say the river will crest at nearly a foot above flood level by early Saturday, causing flooding in rural parts of Pickens County. And Livingston could see minor flooding from the Sucarnoochee River.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama's attorney general has brought the state into a Catholic broadcaster's lawsuit against the Obama administration's mandate that religious organizations pay for their workers' birth control.
Attorney General Luther Strange filed a motion Thursday to make the state a party to the case. He says the mandate violates the Alabama Constitution's religious freedom amendment.
Montgomery, AL – Most new public employees wouldn't be able to draw their pensions until later in life, but would have to contribute less of their paycheck to retirement under a proposal approved by an Alabama Senate committee.
The bill favorably reported Tuesday now goes before the full Senate.
The proposal calls for setting a retirement age of 62 for most employees and 56 for law enforcement officers and firefighters. Right now, employees can retire after a minimum of 25 years or service. There is no retirement age.