Alabamians receiving emergency unemployment benefits will see their benefit reduced by 12.8 percent. State Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said in a statement the reduced benefits will start for weeks beginning April 28th through September 30th. The Labor Department estimates that around 16,000 Alabamians currently receive federal emergency jobless benefits.
The Alabama Legislature has voted to pardon the Scottsboro Boys more than 80 years after nine young black men were convicted by all-white juries of raping two white women. The bill still must be signed by Governor Robert Bentley to become law. The governor's press secretary said Bentley will study the legislation, but has said he favors the pardons.
The Alabama Senate started debate on legislation poised to ease some of the state's gun restrictions. The Senate voted 26-7 Thursday to consider the bill. The bill by Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale would allow workers to keep guns locked in their vehicles while at their jobs, and would allow people to get a lifetime permit to keep guns in their vehicles all the time. The bill is supported by the National Rifle Association and opposed by some sheriffs and the Business Council of Alabama.
Some state employees and vendors who do business with the state are being notified that their personal information was accessed when hackers infiltrated a state computer system. The state Department of Homeland Security announced that it was making the notifications, but wouldn't say how many state employees or vendors were affected. The department says the hackers accessed personal information such as names, Social Security numbers and taxpayer identification numbers, but they didn't access taxpayer records or tax returns. Department Director Spencer Collier says those affected will be connected with credit monitoring services, and an identity theft service company to help detect misuse of personal information. The hacking occurred January 16th.