A judge plans to rule Wednesday on whether the governor can sign into law a bill providing private school tax credits. Governor Robert Bentley had planned to sign the bill Tuesday afternoon, but Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price temporarily put that on hold while he considers a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Education Association. Price heard arguments on whether the Legislature violated Alabama's open meeting law and its own operating rules in passing the bill in a series of quick votes Thursday night. Price told attorneys to back in his courtroom Wednesday morning when he will give them his decision. The bill provides tax credits for parents who move their children from failing public schools to private schools. Tax credits would help cover tuition.
Abortion Clinic Regulations
Governor Robert Bentley says he will sign tougher abortion clinic regulations if the state Senate approves them. Bentley spoke Tuesday at a rally organized by abortion opponents in Montgomery. The clinic regulatory bill has passed the House and is scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Senate Health Committee. The Southeast Vice President of Planned Parenthood, Nikema Williams, says the bill is an attack on women's rights.
The number of licensed hunters taking to the field in Alabama has increased during the past five years, reflecting national growth in the sport. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a national study on the outdoors and outdoor activities, and it shows a nine percent growth nationwide in hunting license sales from 2007 to 2011, that reverses a 25-year slide. In Alabama, the number of licensed hunters also has seen a spike, up from about 423,000 in 2001 and 391,000 in 2006 to 535,000 in 2011.
Parents and teachers are expressing concerns about plans to close seven schools and lay off 133 workers in Birmingham City Schools. Some worry about the consequences of seventh and eighth graders mixing with high school students. The superintendent says the consolidated schools with different grade levels would have separate entrances, staff and bus schedules.