WVAS Local News

May 7, 2013

The Alabama House will consider a bill that would reorganize the state's Medicaid program.  The bill will be up for final passage in the House of Representatives today.  The Medicaid bill will be debated with just three days remaining in the 2013 legislative session.  The bill replaces that current payment method with the regional care organizations.  The bill would create several Medicaid regional care organizations around the state.  There will be no change for nursing home patients or long term care until 2016 under the plan. 

Internet Sales

Alabama's two Republicans in the U.S. Senate joined the majority Monday to pass a bill that empowers states to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases.  Under the bill, states can require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes when they sell products over the Internet, in catalogs, and through radio and TV ads.  The legislation faces a tough sell in the U.S. House. 

New Tax Credits

Private and parochial schools say they want to make sure Alabama's new tax credits and scholarships for private school attendance don't lead to the state government having a role in their operations.  They worry about one proposal that would require schools accepting the scholarship students to test participating students and report their scores to the state. 

Lowering Truancy

Truancy is defined as an unexcused absence from school.  The number of truancy cases in Montgomery Public Schools have skyrocketed since 2006, rising from more 60,000 cases to 94,000 cases in the 2011-2012 school year.  MPS officials say a student with five or move unexcused absences during a school year is considered truant. 

World's Widest Yard Sale

The World's Widest Yard sale is returning for its second year to try to boost spending and tourism in the middle of the state.  The director of the Alabama Rural Development Office, Ron Sparks, said hundreds of vendors are expected to participate in the event May 30th through June 2nd.  The yard sale will stretch along U.S. 80 from Cuba on the Mississippi line to Phenix City on the Georgia line. 

ADC Award

The Alabama Democratic Conference is planning to honor a district attorney in west Alabama who successfully prosecuted former state trooper James Fowler for a civil rights-era slaying.  The ADC will present its John F. Kennedy Person Courage Award to District Attorney Michael Jackson of Selma during its convention this weekend in Montgomery.  The district attorney reopened the investigation into the 1965 shooting death of Jimmie Lee Jackson during a voting rights demonstration in Marion, and he got Fowler to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter.