Governor Robert Bentley says he will veto any state budget that includes the "draconian" cuts that would be required without tax increases. Bentley in a Friday speech continues to press for public support for his $541 million dollar tax proposal for lawmakers. The $1.8 billion general fund is expected to have roughly $290 million dollars shortfall next year. A draft budget outlines deep cuts of between 11 and 16 percent for most state agencies. Bentley also says he won't fight a new bill to create an Alabama lottery but says it's not a solution for the state.
Alabama State Troopers have joined a nation wide effort to crack down on drivers who text while driving. The campaign is called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Public Safety Director, Colonel John Richardson said troopers will utilize traditional and new strategies to crack down on texting while driving. The campaign starts Friday and runs through Thursday. Under Alabama's texting law, drivers face a $25 fine for the first citation, with fines jumping to $50 for a second violation and $75 for a third citation.
Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives says the time has come for Alabama to consider legalized gambling as a revenue source. House Democrats announced a legislative agenda Wednesday that includes creating a state lottery and urging the governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama will face severe cuts in state services if legislators refuse to raise taxes. The governor described the potential budget cuts during a speech Wednesday. Bentley says Alabama could see the closure of state parks, reductions in mental health services, longer courthouse lines, a possible release of state inmates and other consequences. So far, lawmakers have shown little excitement for Bentley's proposed $541 million tax package.
A bill proposed in the Alabama Legislature could end up banning most abortions if approved. Republican Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur has proposed legislation to prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Collins says if the end of life is defined by the absence of a heartbeat, it makes sense to her to define the beginning of life with the start of a heartbeat. A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood says the bill would ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before a woman might know she's pregnant.
Wetumpka Police were called to the scene of a fatal crash on Highway 231 Monday. WSFA is reporting that four vehicles collided when a vehicle veered off the southbound side into the northbound lanes. One person was pronounced dead at the scene near Blue Ridge Road. Three others were taken to a local hospital. No word on the extent of their injuries. Traffic on the northbound side of 231 was closed for nearly three hours due to the accident.
Governor Robert Bentley signed an executive order Monday creating the Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force. The 38 member team will work to address chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes. Governor Bentley says the task force is also charged with improving access to healthcare and more affordable health care. The task force will include doctors, nurses, dentists and mental health care professionals.
A Montgomery police officer who died in a traffic accident over the weekend will be laid to rest on Wednesday. Officer David Colley was responding to a call around 6 a.m. Saturday when his vehicle crashed into an 18 wheeler near the intersection of Narrow Lane Road and East South Boulevard. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Funeral services for the 24-year-old Colley of Eclectic will be held Wednesday at Good Hope Baptist Church in Eclectic at 2 p.m. Visitation takes place Tuesday at the same church from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.