The Alabama Senate has approved a bill to allow people to carry loaded handguns in their vehicles without getting pistol permit.
The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale cleared the Senate 20-7 Wednesday night and now goes to the House for consideration.
Currently, people without a pistol permit can carry a handgun in their vehicles provided it is unloaded and out of reach. They need to buy a pistol permit from a county sheriff to carry a loaded gun in their vehicles. Beason said citizens shouldn't have to buy a permit to protect themselves.
President Obama's nominee for surgeon general has a medical degree and an MBA, but his confirmation is being held up in the Senate because of special-interest politics and Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns.
The White House on Wednesday rolled out a new initiative designed to make climate data more accessible to researchers and industries trying to adapt to global warming.
The project includes the introduction of a climate-focused section of the federal government's open data platform at climate.data.gov; an innovation challenge to solicit ideas from the private sector to demonstrate coastal flooding; and collaboration with companies like Google and Ersi to provide technological support.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says he's supportive of $250,000 added to the state General Fund budget for hiring a prison ombudsman in the governor's office.
Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr added the money to the General Fund budget when his committee approved it on Wednesday. Orr says the ombudsman would start by focusing on complaints from inmates at Tutwiler Prison for women in Wetumpka. Some inmates at Tutwiler have complained about sexual abuse. Orr says the ombudsman would give the governor a direct line to what's going on in Tutwiler.
Even as the United States and Europe ratchet up pressure on Russia, the Russian Federation has a lobbying team here in Washington. That might seem odd but it's not unusual, as NPR's Peter Overby reports.
PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: There's no mistaking how the United States feels toward the Russian Federation. Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration strongly condemns Russia's use of force in Crimea.
State employees may end up with a one-time pay bonus of $400 in the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur announced he will propose the bonus when the Senate considers the state General Fund budget.
The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved a General Fund budget for non-education agencies Wednesday that would spend $1.84 billion. That's $15 million more than the budget approved by the House.
Next we're going to unravel another potential political scandal. It involves a tax-exempt advocacy group with ties to President Obama. Organizing for Action is saying it broke its own rules against hooking up big donors with White House officials. Critics are unimpressed. NPR's Peter Overby breaks it down for us.
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:58 pm
The first family must be crust fallen.
Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.
"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:43 pm
Second-term presidents who find their ability to shape domestic affairs limited by congressional constraints often view foreign policy as the arena in which they can post some successes.
Ronald Reagan had his second-term breakthrough with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's general secretary. Bill Clinton had the U.S. lead its NATO allies into taking military action against the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic. Much further back in time, Woodrow Wilson successfully negotiated the League of Nations Treaty (though he couldn't win Senate passage for it).