Trip Pittman

The deadline to register to vote is nearing in Alabama's U.S. Senate primary.

Voters have through July 31 to register to vote in the Aug. 15 primary. 

  Crowded fields of Republicans and Democrats are vying to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate.

A primary runoff, if needed, will be held on Sept. 26. The general election will be held Dec. 12.

A bill requiring insurance companies in the state to pay for autism therapy has passed the Senate budget committee. But the committee chairman is threatening not to advance the bill, as he continues negotiations.

Alabama Senators managed to find a compromise on how to spend an incoming BP settlement package from the 2010 oil spill, splitting it between state debts, Medicaid and coastal road projects.

WKRG-TV reports lawmakers in south Alabama say there isn’t enough money to fund all the projects that need completing, but the legislators have a plan.

A state tax break that some say sparked a renaissance in downtown Birmingham and elsewhere will end unless Alabama senators agree to extend the program.

A bill to extend the tax credits for seven years has stalled amid opposition from Senate leaders. Sen. Trip Pittman says that he did not anticipate any action on the legislation this year.

The three-year program, approved in 2013, gave up to $20 million in tax credits each year for historic building renovation.

Alabama lawmakers are expected to give their final approval to the General Fund budget later today. That will set up an expected veto by Gov. Robert Bentley over what he calls inadequate Medicaid funding.

Governor Bentley says the spending plan in its current form is unacceptable and he plans to veto it. The budget is $85 million short of the amount Bentley and state Medicaid commissioner Stephanie Azar say is needed to adequately fund the state's Medicaid program.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

Two Republican legislators who designed Alabama's first proration-free education budget in several years say they are optimistic the state's new education budget will also avoid midyear cutbacks. Senate budget committee Chairman Trip Pittman and House budget committee Chairman Jay Love said Wednesday the first education budget they designed avoided midyear cutbacks due to tight spending controls and an improving economy. It was for the 2011-2012 school year.