Busloads of Alabama State University students visited the Legislature Thursday to lobby lawmakers to restore more than $10 million dollars that was cut from the university's annual appropriation. ASU President Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd led the rally at the Statehouse. The Chairman of the House Education Budget Committee said he supported restoring the $10 million that was cut from ASU's budget by the state Senate.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says the Elmore County coroner and a funeral home director in Wetumpka have been convicted of theft and ethics violations. Strange said that Timothy Ellison pleaded guilty to theft and using his position for personal gain. Yancey Joe Mitchell, Director of the Hillside Mortuary, also pleaded guilty to theft and aiding and abetting Ellison by providing false paperwork. Ellison is ordered to pay nearly $8,000 in restitution and is scheduled to be sentenced April 9th. Mitchell was sentenced to a year of probation and he must pay a $250 fine and court costs.
The Alabama Senate is trying to provide schools with up to $100 million to convert from paper textbooks to digital textbooks. The Senate voted 19-11 for a bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville that would allow the state to borrow up to $100 million through bond sales to provide money to schools for laptops, tablets and electronic versions of textbooks. Dial's bill goes to the House, where similar legislation died last year. Opponents questioned the wisdom of a bond issue lasting longer that the tablets.