WVAS Local

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.

Storm Survey Teams in Troy

Aug 7, 2015

The National Weather Service says it is sending survey teams to Troy today.  The Pike County city was hit by a possible tornado late last night.  The twister caused significant damage to a Wal-Mart store and a Hibbetts Sporting Goods outlet at a shopping center off U.S. Highway 231.  Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said several people sustained minor injuries.  Powerful winds were blamed for overturning a tractor-trailer.  The weather service issued the tornado warning for Pike County just before 11 p.m.

Possible Second Special Session

Aug 6, 2015

Senate budget chairman Arthur Orr said Thursday he believes a second special session is inevitable.  Lawmakers are at the halfway point of the session and have yet to pass a major revenue bill in either chamber.  Governor Robert Bentley said funding cuts passed by the House of Representatives are unworkable.  He says lawmakers must keep working to find a solution.  The session must end Tuesday by law. 

Fetal Tissue

Casino Owner Seeks Gaming Vendor

Aug 5, 2015

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor says if he can find an electronic machine vendor, the shuttered casino will soon reopen.  McGregor made the comments Tuesday after a Montgomery judge said he will delay a decision on whether to return more than 1.600 gambling machines seized in a raid at the VictoryLand complex in 2013.  Circuit Judge Williams Shashy said he want to see what happens in other pending cases and the Legislature before deciding on the request by McGregor.  In June, the judge ruled the state Attorney General's Office was unfair when it singled out VictoryLand for prosecution.