Del Marsh

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says he isn’t looking for an appointment to Jeff Sessions’ senate seat. But he does plan to run for the office in a special election that may not be held until 2018.

Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions was recently tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as his Attorney General. That leaves a vacant seat that lots of Alabama politicians are clamoring to fill.

Alabama lawmakers head into special session today.

The main topic of discussion will be Governor Robert Bentley’s proposed constitutional amendment creating a state lottery. If the House and Senate agree, then voters would get the final say in November. Bentley wants lotto revenue to go to the general fund with an eye on funding Medicaid.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says it’s a last-ditch effort by the governor to raise money…

Workers in the Tuscaloosa area could see their wages go up soon.

Mayor Walt Maddox and the city council plan to consider an ordinance that would hike the local minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The proposal prompted a march down University Boulevard to City Hall on Martin Luther King Day. The group called for economic justice and a higher minimum working wage.

Deidre Stalnaker is the Communications Director for the City of Tuscaloosa. She says she’s not entirely sure what impact the move will have on area businesses.

The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate says he will introduce legislation to authorize a lottery and casino gambling in the state.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says that it is time to let the people of Alabama make a decision on gambling. Flanked by a sign reading, "Let the people vote," Marsh says Alabama is in a dire fiscal situation and the state needs additional revenue. Marsh says Alabama sends money every year across state lines to casinos and lotteries in other states.

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A newly-created special commission is expected to help small business startups throughout the state and assist existing businesses in their expansion efforts.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is expected to announce the creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission Monday morning at the state Capitol building along with House Speaker Mike Hubbard, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and National Federation of Independent Business State Director Rosemary Elebash.

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians gave $500,000 to a Republican group that contributed to 2010 legislative races, but state Republicans say they didn't direct the donation.

Republican Senate leader Del Marsh says he met with the tribe in 2009 but didn't ask for the donation.

Marsh says he was hoping to prevent the tribe from bankrolling Democrats. He told members of the tribal council that the GOP majority would not oppose legal gambling operations.

The tribe gave $550,000 to the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee.

State of Alabama

Bentley signed the order Tuesday, which makes state Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier the state's senior law enforcement adviser.

One of Collier's responsibilities will be to ensure the maximum number of state law enforcement officers are on the streets. The governor says consolidating administrative duties among departments is a way to accomplish that.

Bentley says his plan would consolidate some administrative functions such as purchasing, fleet maintenance and communications.

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Competing plans are being developed for achieving more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh unveiled legislation Friday that would consolidate and reorganize the state's many law enforcement functions into a new Public Safety Agency. It would include state troopers, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, marine police, the fire marshal and others. It would abolish the state Department of Homeland Security and divide its duties among other agencies.