Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency head Spencer Collier are telling legislators their agencies can't properly function if deep budget cuts go into effect. Moore told lawmakers at a hearing in the Alabama House Wednesday that cuts to state courts could result in closings and layoffs. Spencer Collier delivered a similar message.
A Montgomery high school student hit by a tractor-trailer Wednesday morning has died. Montgomery Police said the victim was struck just before 7 a.m. near the intersection of Taylor Road and Malcom Drive. Montgomery Public Schools spokeswoman, Mona Davis says the victim was a student at Park Crossing High School. The accident is under investigation.
The upper chamber of the Alabama Legislature has approved a nearly six billion dollar Education budget, the state Senate voted 33 to nothing Tuesday afternoon to send the school spending plan to the Alabama House. Legislators are still grappling with the financially-ailing General fund budget and are considering deep cuts to state agencies. A key GOP lawmaker who chairs a Senate Budget committee, Arthur Orr of Decatur told a gathering at the Statehouse Tuesday to make their concerns known to legislators.
The Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey, police and Fire Department officials are sounding the alarm about synthetic marijuana or what is commonly called spice. D.A. Daryl Bailey said spice use is on the rise in Montgomery. He said between last Thursday and Monday, Montgomery Fire Medics responded to 41 cases of young people getting sick after smoking or eating spice. Authorities said four Montgomery students had to be treated after using spice Monday.
Police say the 24-year-old woman who was shot at a small-town Alabama doctor's office has died, and the gunman was her husband. Jemison police chief Shane Fulmer says the couple lived near the doctor's office and had a dispute Monday morning. The 26-year-old man was found at his home with a gunshot wound to his head, was taken to the hospital and was expected to be charged.
New technology to block calls and text messages to cellphones soon will be installed at state prisons. Steve Brown, the agency's chief of staff, said a "managed access" system will be installed for Draper, Elmore and Staton prisons, all are located in Elmore County. State Corrections officials have asked the Legislature for additional funds to install similar systems at Bibb, Donaldson, Fountain and St. Clair prisons. Authorities say inmate use cell phones to conduct scams on the public, extort money from relatives and coordinate drug drops at prisons.
Governor Robert Bentley says he will veto any state budget that includes the "draconian" cuts that would be required without tax increases. Bentley in a Friday speech continues to press for public support for his $541 million dollar tax proposal for lawmakers. The $1.8 billion general fund is expected to have roughly $290 million dollars shortfall next year. A draft budget outlines deep cuts of between 11 and 16 percent for most state agencies. Bentley also says he won't fight a new bill to create an Alabama lottery but says it's not a solution for the state.
Alabama State Troopers have joined a nation wide effort to crack down on drivers who text while driving. The campaign is called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Public Safety Director, Colonel John Richardson said troopers will utilize traditional and new strategies to crack down on texting while driving. The campaign starts Friday and runs through Thursday. Under Alabama's texting law, drivers face a $25 fine for the first citation, with fines jumping to $50 for a second violation and $75 for a third citation.
Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives says the time has come for Alabama to consider legalized gambling as a revenue source. House Democrats announced a legislative agenda Wednesday that includes creating a state lottery and urging the governor to negotiate a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama will face severe cuts in state services if legislators refuse to raise taxes. The governor described the potential budget cuts during a speech Wednesday. Bentley says Alabama could see the closure of state parks, reductions in mental health services, longer courthouse lines, a possible release of state inmates and other consequences. So far, lawmakers have shown little excitement for Bentley's proposed $541 million tax package.