U.S. Justice Department

Alabama legislators are desperate to end a legislative session marked by frustration and disagreements over how to handle a gaping hole in the state's General Fund budget.

The Alabama Senate will vote today on a General Fund budget expected to include significant cuts after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on new taxes or moving revenue from the state's education budget.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says a special session to try and patch some of those budget holes is looming.


A federal judge will review an agreement to settle a desegregation case involving Huntsville city schools.

The school system and the Justice Department released the agreement on Monday. It's aimed at resolving disputes over the racial fairness of a student attendance plan devised last year.

The federal government objected to the plan arguing it didn't improve academic opportunities for black students.   The school system agrees to take several steps in the settlement, which follows mediation sessions.

Office of the Governor of Alabama

The Alabama Department of Corrections says it is working with a consulting group to make changes at Alabama's prison for women, including providing more privacy in the bathrooms.

Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said Friday three months of working with the Moss Group is having a positive impact on Tutwiler Prison in Wetumpka. Shower curtains, toilet partitions and privacy curtains have been installed in part of the prison and the full installation should be complete by Oct. 1.


The government is seeking the early release from prison of a former Alabama politician whose daughter died in a racist church bombing in Birmingham in 1963.

The Justice Department filed papers Thursday supporting the compassionate release of Chris McNair, a former Alabama county commissioner convicted of taking thousands of dollars in bribes.

McNair is 87 and suffers from numerous health problems. The request asks a judge to reduce McNair's five-year sentence to the time he's served since 2011.

Matt Wade / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Feb. 27 in efforts by an Alabama county to stop enforcement of part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The court initially agreed in November to hear the case brought by Shelby County, and it has now set the date for attorneys to present their arguments.

Rivers A. Langley / Wikimedia Commons

A Justice Department report is criticizing the way female inmates are treated at Alabama's lone prison for women.

A study by the National Institute of Corrections says there have been reports of sexual abuse of female prisoners, and officials haven't always treated those complaints in the proper manner.

Alabama State House
Trance Mist / Flickr

The U.S. Justice Department has cleared Alabama's new legislative districts for use in the 2014 elections. Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez notified state Attorney General Luther Strange of the decision Friday. The Justice Department has to review new political boundaries in Alabama to make sure they don't violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act by disenfranchising black voters. The co-chairman of the Legislature's Redistricting Committee, Republican Rep.