WVAS Local

Julian Bond Civil Rights Activist Dies

Aug 17, 2015

Julian Bond,  a civil rights activist and longtime board chairman of the NAACP, has died.  The Southern Poverty Law Center says in a statement that Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness.  The Nashville native was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement.  Bond helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.  He was on the front lines of protests that led to the nation's landmark civil rights laws.  

King Statue

Abortion Regulation Blocked By Federal Judge

Aug 14, 2015

A federal judge has blocked an Alabama abortion regulation that could have permanently closed the state's busiest abortion clinic, saying the rule was unnecessary to protect women.  U.S. District Myron Thompson issued a temporary restraining order last week blocking the regulation concerning the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa.  He followed up with an 81-page opinion issued Thursday.  The 2007 health regulation requires clinics to hire a physician with hospital-admitting privileges to handle patient complications.  The clinic filed a lawsuit challenging it.

Public Hearing at State School Board Meeting

Aug 14, 2015

A public hearing at Wednesday's State School Board meeting attracted unanimous support for adoption of the Science State Course of Study in Alabama's Public School System.  The standards promote a hands-on approach to science, with less emphasis on memorization.  Board members will vote on the standards at its September meeting.  If approved, teachers would undergo a year of professional development before the program is implemented.  

Cause of Death

Bice Willing to Work With Lawmakers

Aug 13, 2015

State Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says he is willing to work with lawmakers on a plan to fill a shortfall within the General Fund budget, but not at the expense of the Education Trust Fund.  Bice spoke to reporters Thursday at the Alabama Board of Education meeting.  He says there initially was support for a plan to shift education revenue from the use tax into the General Fund, but only if that money was replaced somehow.

ASU Campus Safety Forum

Aug 12, 2015

Law enforcement personnel from various city, county and military agencies are participating in a three-day forum on campus safety.  Alabama State University is sponsoring the conference dubbed "Managing Critical Indictments for Higher Education."  ASU Police Chief Jim Grayboys said the seminars are training courses for managing emergency situations.  The training is being conducted by the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center at Texas A& M.  

Open Meetings Law

No Budget Solution

Aug 11, 2015

Alabama lawmakers ended a special session without a budget solution Tuesday.  Members of the House and Senate could not agree on a way to generate revenue for the financially-strapped General Fund budget.  House Budget Chairman Steve Clouse says even though a spending plan did not pass, legislators have a better idea what approach will be needed in the next special session.  Governor Robert Bentley is expected to call lawmakers back for a second special session.  

Go Fund Me

Final Day of Special Session

Aug 11, 2015

Alabama lawmakers are due back at the Statehouse today for the final day of a special session.  Legislators were unable to reach a deal to plug a $200 million dollar hole in the General Fund budget.  On Monday, the state Senate narrowly approved a budget.  Hours later, the budget proposal was rejected in the House by an overwhelming margin.  The leader of Alabama Senate, Del Marsh, defended the deep cuts to some state agencies.  GOP Senator Paul Bussman of Cullman said lawmakers have know for years about the revenue problems but have failed to act.

Senate Narrowly Approves Budget

Aug 10, 2015

The Alabama Senate has narrowly approved a budget that slashes millions of dollars from Medicaid, mental health, law enforcement and other state agencies.  Aside from some additional funding for prison reform legislation, it is essentially the same budget that legislators sent to the governor in June.  Republican Senator Gerald Dial of Lineville was among those condemning the spending plan.  Senators voted 19-15 for the budget, a vote Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh endorsed.

One Day Left in Special Session

Aug 10, 2015

Only one day remains in a special session and Governor Robert Bentley says he will not back down with members of his own political party over tax increases.  The Alabama Senate will vote today on a budget that cuts $200 million from state agencies.  The governor said the spending plan is unworkable and unacceptable.  Senate Budget chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur said he and his colleagues realize the General Fund is not perfect.  Bentley has said he expects to call lawmakers back to Montgomery for another special session but would not say when.  

Resurrected Budget

Aug 7, 2015

The House budget plan that would have cut $156 million dollars from Medicaid is dead.  The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee rejected the proposal Friday on a unanimous vote.  In its place, the committee brought back the budget that was ultimately passed in the regular session.  Chairman of the committee, Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur says he expects Governor Robert Bentley will veto it again.  Orr says lawmakers will continue looking for an agreement on revenue.  He expects lawmakers will be back in a second special session.