A preliminary budget was presented at a working session of the state Board of Education Thursday. The operating expenses alone are expected to reach over $200 million dollars. State Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says board members and legislators will have to figure out where to direct the available funds. The largest request increases come in the areas of health insurance, transportation and support personnel. The board will take up the budget at its next regular meeting in November.
Abortion opponents are asking the state to impose tighter restrictions on doctors performing the medical procedure in Alabama. The state health agency held a public hearing Thursday on a proposed rule that would drastically reduce the number of abortions a physician's office can perform without being considered an abortion clinic. Such a designation increases state oversight. Activists told a hearing officer they want even tighter regulations, with doctor's offices unable to perform any abortions without being considered a clinic. Current rules define an abortion clinic as any facility that performs 30 or more abortions during any two months in a year. The new rule would drop that to 10 monthly. A state health committee will decide later on the final rule.
Alabama's largest casino project, the 17-story Wind Creek Atmore, will soon be eclipsed by the 20-story Wind Creek Wetumpka. Both are owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. A representative says the casino will be open in December and the hotels will open in January or February.