Politics & Government

Private School Tax Credits
5:07 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Senate Approves Changes To Ala. Accountability Act

The Alabama Senate has approved changes to the Alabama Accountability Act regarding transferring students.
Credit The Associated Press

The Alabama Senate has approved legislation saying private schools and non-failing public schools don't have to take students transferring from failing public schools.


The Senate voted 21-12 Thursday for a bill making changes to the Alabama Accountability Act. The bill makes clear that a student transferring from a failing school in one school system to a non-failing school in another system has to provide his own transportation. It also tightens up which schools will be designated failing schools.

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Gun Compromise
4:58 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

House, Senate Still Negotiating On AL Gun Law

The two chambers of the Alabama legislature are still working out their differences over this session's main gun bill.

The main gun bill before Alabama lawmakers is headed to a compromise committee of senators and representatives.


Sen. Scott Beason, the Senate sponsor, says he couldn't sign off on the version that House members passed late last week after reaching a compromise that involved law enforcement leaders and the National Rifle Association.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Skeptical Of Republican 'Debt Prioritization' Bill

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 7:48 pm

House Republicans have passed a bill that would tell President Obama which bills to pay first, should the U.S. Treasury run out of cash and risk default, like it almost did two summers ago. The proposal is not likely to move in the Democratic Senate, and the issue itself is fading in urgency as the deficit picture improves.

The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Colorado Lawmakers Set Taxes And Rules For Marijuana Sales

Colorado lawmakers approved two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax. A photo depicts a quarter of an ounce, left, and one ounce of marijuana, along with a handful of rolled joints at a Denver dispensary.
Ed Andrieski AP

Colorado is set to become the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana, after lawmakers approved several bills that set business standards and rules. Legislators expect enforcement of the rules to be paid for by two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax.

Other measures included in the package set limits on how much marijuana visitors to Colorado can buy (a quarter of an ounce), as well as a limit on how many cannabis plants a private citizen can grow (six).

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Politics
11:17 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Who Will Hurt The Most From Immigration Bill?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, we will talk more about the story that's riveted the country, about those three women who were missing for a decade who were recently found alive. In a few minutes, we'll speak with a local columnist who stayed in touch with the mother of one of the missing women, who never gave up hope, but, sadly, did not live to see her daughter free. We'll hear more from columnist Regina Brett.

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NPR Story
11:17 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Insider Escapes Politics With Gospel And Eminem

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to a segment we call In Your Ear. Sometimes, after we've asked our guest about their work, we ask them about the music they listen to while they relax or play. Today, we hear from Ambassador Ron Kirk. He recently stepped down as United States Trade representative. But we caught up with him shortly before he left his post, and here's what he had to say about the music that kept him moving.

RON KIRK: Right now on now I'm enjoying "Once In A Lifetime" by Smokie Norful.

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It's All Politics
9:18 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Five Reasons Vetoes Have Gone Out Of Style

President Obama may not like the bills Congress considers, but he has vetoed only two of them.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:40 pm

President Obama in recent weeks has twice threatened to veto legislation before Congress. Don't hold your breath that it will happen.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Ala Prisons Still Understaffed Despite New Workers

Alabama's prison system is getting dozens of new officers, but officials say it's still badly understaffed.

The Department of Corrections is holding a graduation ceremony in Selma on Thursday for 70 new correctional officers. It's the first of three corrections classes planned for this year at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center.

But department spokesman Brian Corbett says the agency loses more than 20 officers a month through attrition, so the new officers only make up for three months of normal turnover.

Politics
4:55 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Facebook Joins Lobby For Overhauling Immigration

Some progressive groups are angry with Facebook for running ads supporting GOP lawmakers on board with the immigration overhaul bill. The left-wing groups have turned a blind eye to what Facebook gets out of the overhaul measure, and what it may cost American tech workers.

Politics
4:54 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Republicans Vow To Keep Pressure On Benghazi Probe

A House committee held a hearing Wednesday into last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The event has been a key political weapon for Republicans, first against President Obama's re-election campaign, and now against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

Politics
4:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Lawmakers Use Web To Request Help Simplifying Tax Code

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 5:05 am

Steve Inskeep talks with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan about their bipartisan efforts to rewrite the tax code. On Thursday, the lawmakers launched TaxReform.gov in an effort to solicit direct input from Americans on simplifying the tax code.

It's All Politics
2:32 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats Hope For A Bright Future In The Lone Star State

Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse in Blanco, Texas, after casting their ballots in November 2012. Democrats hope demographics and a new organizational push give them a brighter future in Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 4:51 am

President Obama travels to Texas on Thursday for the second time in as many weeks. He will talk about job training and economic opportunity, but he may have a political opportunity on his mind as well.

Obama lost Texas by more than 1 million votes last year. But Democrats believe their fortunes in the Lone Star State may soon change, thanks to demographics and a new organizational push.

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It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

With Texas Trip, Obama Tries To Steer Focus Back To Economy

President Obama answers questions during a news conference on April 30.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama turns his attention back to his economic agenda Thursday when he travels to Austin, Texas, where he will visit a technology high school and a company that makes the machines that make silicon chips.

The White House says the trip is part of Obama's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. It also appears to be an effort by the president to get back to the issues Americans care most about.

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Adoption Law
4:50 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

New Law Streamlines Adoption For Foster Children

Governor Robert Bentley has signed a new law that will streamline the adoptions of foster children.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Adoptions involving foster children will be streamlined in Alabama under a new law that Gov. Robert Bentley has signed.


Bentley and legislative leaders say the Best Interest of the Child Act will prevent foster families from having to wait several years before being able to adopt children in their care.


The law shortens from 15 months to 12 months the time that must pass after a child is in state custody before a court can consider a request to terminate parental rights.

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Politics & Government
4:34 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

GOP Advances Plan To Change Registration Deadline

Republican lawmakers have advanced a plan to that would move up the voter registration deadline before each election.

Republican lawmakers are pushing a plan that would move up the voter registration deadline before each election.


Current law allows registration until 10 days before an election. A Republican bill would change the deadline to 17 days. The measure passed a Senate committee Wednesday on a party line vote. It now goes to the full Senate.


Republicans say local registrars need more time to prepare accurate voting lists for poll workers to use on election day. Democrats say the move will make it harder for people to vote.

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