state employees

The Alabama Ethics Commission says gifts to school teachers and other public employees might be able to cost more than $25.

Earlier this week, the state ethics panel gave preliminary approval to an advisory opinion saying gifts for public employees are not always subject to the $25 limit. Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton says the commission wanted to clear up confusion about gifts, including customary holiday gifts to teachers.

State of Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire. The governor announced details of the plan at a news conference Monday in Huntsville. He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments. He said the program would help retiring workers while at the same time saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.

State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley says he's getting close to proposing retirement incentives for state employees and he may follow that with retirement incentives for public school employees. Bentley said Thursday he's got no goal yet for the number of retirements, but the state would cut its expenses by $82 million if 1,500 employees retired. Bentley said retired teachers would have to be replaced, but the new employees would be younger teachers making less pay than veteran educators. He said 5,000 retirements would save $100 million.