Federal regulators are asking a federal judge in Birmingham to set a trial date and avoid further delays in a civil fraud lawsuit against two former bankers accused of making payoffs to win billions of dollars in deals involving municipal sewer bonds.
The Alabama Legislature is close to approving a plan to borrow $50 million to replace outdated equipment in high school technology programs.
Lawmakers hope giving students better equipment will help make a dent in Alabama's dropout rate.
Bond issue legislation has breezed through the House and a Senate committee with only one negative vote. The tech director for the state Board of Education, Philip Cleveland, said schools have not received state money for equipment since they got $10 million in 2005. He said students in some programs are training on outdated equipment.
If you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jacki Lyden.
As we just heard, longtime Republican Senator Rob Portman's position on gay marriage has evolved. Of course, gay marriage is one of the social issues that was front and center at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, otherwise known as CPAC. It's the annual gathering of the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea has been at CPAC, and he joins me now. Hi there, Don.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 6:39 pm
Conservative activists chose Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as their pick to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
As The Associated Press notes, "the win offers little more than bragging rights for Paul, who is popular with the younger generation of libertarian-minded conservatives who packed the conference."
When Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Friday became the latest conservative politician to announce his support for same-sex marriage, he disclosed that his son, Will, a junior at Yale University, had told him two years ago that he is gay; and that love and admiration for his son had moved the senator to reflect — and change.
When Mr. Portman was in the House of Representatives, he co-sponsored a 1996 law to prevent same-sex marriage.
Sarah Brady has worked for tougher gun laws for decades. Her husband, Jim Brady, was shot in the head by John Hinckley when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Jim Brady was President Reagan's press secretary and has lived with a disability ever since. The Bradys founded the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which worked to pass a law that now bears their name, the Brady Bill.
And Sarah Brady joins us from her home in Virginia. Ms. Brady, thanks very for being with us.
The keynote speaker at Saturday night's closing session of the Conservative Political Action Conference is a 42-year-old Texan who's been a U.S. senator since January.
In that short time, Tea Party Republican Ted Cruz has already made a mark — and in doing so, he's simply ignored a tradition of new senators being seen, not heard. Cruz's sharp elbows have some colleagues wincing and others hoping he'll run for president.
Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, announced today that he's reversing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Portman's op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch makes him the first GOP senator to publicly support gay marriage. He said he made the switch because of a personal family experience. Portman's college-age son told his family in 2011 that he is gay.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Mitt Romney returned to the national stage today. At the CPAC convention just outside Washington, D.C. Romney gave his first political speech since losing the presidential election. His audience was a group of conservative activists and as NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, they gave Romney an effusive reception.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has promised to challenge in court two gun control bills that were approved by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee if they become law.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to approve a ban on semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than ten rounds. The bill names more than 150 weapons that would be banned.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:42 pm
It is a theme that has become increasingly familiar during the rapid evolution of American political attitudes toward same-sex marriage: People who learn that a friend or loved one is gay are far more likely to support same-sex marriage, even if they were once adamantly opposed.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to openly endorse same-sex marriage, is simply the latest.