10:19am

Wed March 19, 2014
WVAS Local

House Approves Budget

It was a close vote but in the end, the Alabama House approved the Education Trust Fund budget in a 51-47 vote on Tuesday.  The spending plan divided lawmakers over the lack of a teacher pay raise.  Because of differences in the Senate and House versions, the Education budget will likely go to a conference committee. 

High Sales Tax

A new report says Alabama has the nation's sixth highest sales tax rate.  The report from the non-partisan Tax Foundation says Alabama's state rate and average local rate is 8.51 percent.  Tennessee leads the nation at 9.45 percent.  Tennessee is followed by Arkansas, Louisiana, Washington, Oklahoma and then Alabama.  The report from the tax research organization says Alabama's state sales tax of 4 percent is tied for the second lowest rate among the 45 states that levy a statewide tax.  But Alabama has the second highest average local tax rate at 4.51 percent. 

Clinics Settlement

A network of so-called "doc-in-the-box" medical clinics has agreed to pay $1.2 million dollar to settle allegations of inflated Medicare claims.  Federal prosecutors in Montgomery said in a statement that American Family Care agreed to settle claims that it knowingly submitted Medicare claims for outpatient office visits that were billed at higher than appropriate rates. 

Medals Awarded

They were heroes who were denied their due because of discrimination.  Twenty-four, mostly ethnic or minority U.S. soldiers who performed bravely under fire in three of the nation's wars finally received the Medal of Honor Tuesday at a White House ceremony.  Only three of the 24 were alive for President Obama to drape the medals and ribbons around their necks.