Committee Approves Budget
The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved an education budget Wednesday that removes the one percent pay bonus to teachers. Committee Chairman, Republican Representative Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa, says there is not enough money to do everything they wanted. Governor Robert Bentley maintains the education budget that he supports does ensure funding for both a raise for educators and full funding of the PEEHIP program. Governor Bentley has said he will not sign the budget if he does not agree with the final proposal.
The Legislature's effort to rewrite the lengthy Alabama Constitution article by article has hit a snag. A Senate committee delayed action Wednesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would rewrite four articles of the Constitution. Committee members say the issue is over for now, with only a few days remaining in the 2014 legislative session.
Attorney General Luther Strange says a former Department of Rehabilitative Services employee has been sentenced in an embezzlement scheme. In a statement, Strange said 39-year-old Erica Johnson was convicted of stealing more than $339,300 from the department's Birmingham office. Johnson worked as the department's fund custodian from 2005 until she resigned in 2013. While employed with the agency, Strange says Johnson wrote 280 checks to pay expenses for herself, relatives and friends. Strange says Johnson also altered bank statement to make payments look legitimate.