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.
Starting in April, more detailed tornado warnings are coming to Central and North Alabama. The National Weather Service office in Birmingham is adopting the new Impact-Based warnings after positive reviews from test areas in other parts of the country. Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Birmingham office emphasizes that the change is in the wording only, not in warning philosophy.
Governor Robert Bentley spend much of the last week or so making speeches across the state to drum up support for his $541 million dollar tax proposal. House budget chairman Steve Clouse said legislators are responding negatively to Bentley's ideas. Clouse said Bentley's proposed tobacco tax increase has the most favorable outlook, but he doubted legislators would approve the 82 cents per pack increase Bentley is seeking. The Alabama Legislature returns from spring break Tuesday.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has promised not to accept a paycheck until the state's unemployment rate drops to 5.2 percent. Governor Bentley is getting closer to collecting a salary, but he's not there yet. The state announced Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in February.