A state Senate committee has approved a bill to phase out the state sales tax on groceries and increase the sales tax on other purchases. The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday for the bill. The state's sales tax is four cents per dollar. The measure would reduce the tax on groceries by one cent each year for four years. It would also raise the tax on other purchases by one-fourth of cent each year until it reached five cents on the dollar. The bill now goes to the full Senate, where other bills to get rid of the sales tax on groceries have died in previous sessions.
A judge declared a hung jury Wednesday in a high-profile capital murder case in Montgomery Circuit Court. A jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of Kindall Riley. He was being tried in the January 2011 murder of Ralph McNeil, whom some called the "Critter Man." Circuit Judge Tracy McCooey died not immediately schedule a new trial date. Kindall Riley is one of four defendants charged in connection with McNeil's murder.
Two Vehicle Crash
Montgomery Police say a Louisiana man has died from injuries he suffered in a two-vehicle crash Monday morning. Police declined to identify the 59-year-old male until next-of-kin is notified. Investigators said a pick-up truck and an SUV collided about 7:30 Monday morning near north Eastdale Mall at the East Boulevard. It was the city's fifth traffic fatality this year.
Common Core Repeal
It took two tries, but the Senate Education Committee has approved a bill to repeal the Alabama College and Career Ready standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Republican Senator Scott Beason of Gardendale sponsored this effort to strike down the Common Core, as the standards are also called. Beason says he is fearful of a uniform set of standards because if they fail, "all states would drive into the ditch." State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice called the vote "politics at its worst." The bill now moves to the Senate.