Politics & Government

Around the Nation
12:28 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

'We Have No Choice': A Story Of The Texas Sonogram Law

iStockPhoto

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:19 am

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. But in some states, access to facilities that perform abortions remains limited.

In part, that stems from another Supreme Court ruling from 20 years ago that let states impose regulations that don't cause an "undue burden" on a woman's abortion rights.

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Latin America
11:09 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama's Unfinished Business: Latin America

As President Obama starts his second term, host Michel Martin takes a look at his foreign policy agenda. She speaks with NPR's Juan Forero about upcoming opportunities and challenges in Latin America — from drug trafficking, to changes in leadership, to the evolution of the U.S. relationship with Cuba.

Politics & Government
7:11 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Bentley to Discuss Law Enforcement Efficiency Plan

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans a news conference to detail a plan for "increasing efficiency" among state-level law enforcement agencies.


Bentley plans to sign an executive order creating the position of Senior Law Enforcement Adviser. Bentley said in a news release Monday that Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier will serve in this role and will help coordinate activities among state law enforcement agencies.

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Public Property Database
5:07 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Legislation Proposes Ala. State Property Database

Homewood Rep. Paul Demarco is proposing a bill to bring more transparency and accountability to Alabama's government.
Credit http://www.pljpc.com

An Alabama state lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would require the state auditor to keep a searchable public database listing any piece of personal property owned by the state and valued at $500 or more.


Homewood Republican Rep. Paul Demarco announced Monday that he is sponsoring the legislation in an attempt to bring more transparency and accountability to government.


DeMarco says taxpayers should be able to see what exactly is being purchased with their tax money.

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2013 Inauguration
8:30 am
Mon January 21, 2013

2013 Presidential Inauguration Coverage

Politics & Government
7:50 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Bill may end State liquor sales

istockphoto

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — One Alabama senator says it's time for the state to get out of the retail liquor business. State Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr is working on a bill for the legislative session beginning Feb. 5 that would do just that. Orr says closing state-run liquor stores and eliminating the 600 employees could save $46 million annually. He wants to use private liquor stores for all retail operations. The administrator of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Mac Gipson, says the current system is efficient.

Law Enforcement Consolidation
5:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Ala. Officials Differ Over Law Enforcement Merger

Competing plans are being developed to obtain more efficiency in Alabama's law enforcement operations.
Credit istockphotos

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.

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Moving Judges
5:16 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Bill Sets Up System To Move Alabama Judgeships

A new bill aims to set up a system to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.

The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee is working on legislation to shift some Alabama judgeships to areas with heavy caseloads and backlogs in the court system.


Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster said Friday he will offer his bill when the Legislature convenes Feb. 5. It would set up a system to shift judicial positions when a circuit judge retires in a county with a low caseload.

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It's All Politics
9:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Key Player In '94 Assault Weapons Ban: 'It's Going To Be Much More Difficult' Now

President Clinton speaks to a member of the House on Aug. 11, 1994, lobbying for votes for the crime bill.
Marcy Nighswander AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

President Obama's proposed renewal of a ban on assault-style weapons is expected to be based on the legislation approved by Congress in 1994 that expired 10 years later.

But when the first assault weapons ban was approved — outlawing 19 specific weapons — it was a very different time, and Congress was a very different place.

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House Republican Agenda
5:17 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Republican Alabama House Members Propose Agenda

Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session that could put the state at odds with the Obama Administration.
Credit Trance Mist / Flickr

Alabama House Republicans have announced an agenda for the upcoming legislative session of items that could put the state at odds with the Obama administration.


The agenda includes a measure aimed at slowing down Obama administration efforts to stiffen gun control regulations through federal laws or executive orders.


House Speaker Mike Hubbard proposed an amendment that would put the right to gun ownership in the Alabama Constitution. He says the amendment would give Alabama the "strongest gun protection" law in the country.

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Politics & Government
6:23 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Alabama Democrats Opening Birmingham Field Office

Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy
aldemocrats.org

The Alabama Democratic Party is opening a field office in Birmingham.


The party has its headquarters near the Capitol in Montgomery. But party Chairman Mark Kennedy says it will have a field office in downtown Birmingham next to the Harbert Center. Kennedy plans to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon with Birmingham Mayor William Bell and the party's Jefferson County chairman, Richard Mauk.


Jefferson County and Montgomery County were two areas where the party did well in the November election.

Sessions Running Again
5:14 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Alabama Senator Will Seek Re-Election In 2014

Senator Jeff Sessions will seek a fourth term in office in 2014.
Credit Photo Courtesy of Senator Jeff Sessions

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama says he plans to run for a fourth term next year.


Sessions is beginning his 17th year of service in the Senate. The 66-year-old senator said Wednesday in Montgomery he's still enjoying serving in Washington and plans to run again in 2014.

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Alabama Immigration Law
5:07 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Ala. Asks Court To Review Part Of Immigration Law

The state of Alabama is asking the nation's highest court to review part of it's law cracking down on illegal immigration.
Credit longislandwins / Flickr

The state of Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review part of its law cracking down on illegal immigration.


The state asked the judges Tuesday to review a section of the law that makes it a crime to assist, harbor or transport anyone who's in the country illegally.


Opponents of the law have called the section inhumane, but the state says it doesn't conflict with federal law. It also says the justices haven't reviewed a similar law in other states including Arizona.

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Governor-Education
4:52 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Gov. Bentley Forms Career Ready Task Force

Gov. Robert Bentley is forming a task force aimed at helping students become more career ready.
Credit blog.al.com

Gov. Robert Bentley is creating a task force aimed at helping students better prepare for successful careers.


The governor signed an executive order Tuesday in Columbiana forming the College and Career Ready Task Force. He says it will bring together representatives of K-12 schools, two-year and four-year colleges and the business community to help the state offer a more coordinated approach to workforce development.

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Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

France To Send More Troops To Mali To Combat Islamist Militants

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 7:22 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The French defense minister says France is preparing for a possible land assault in Mali, so it plans to increase its troop levels to 2,500. Back home in France, authorities are girding for possible terrorist attacks in response to their intervention. Eleanor Beardsley has that story from Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (French spoken)

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