Alabama General Fund Budget Heads To Governor

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The Alabama House of Representatives gave final approval Thursday to a nearly $2.4 billion General Fund budget for the next fiscal year. The spending plan passed the Senate earlier this week and goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for her review. 

The General Fund is less than Ivey requested at the beginning of the session, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but still about $168 million more than the previous year. 

Republican State Rep. Andrew Sorrell of Muscle Shoals was the only House member to vote against the bill. He told the Montgomery Advertiser he could not support increasing spending as the economy slows

Most stage agencies received the same funding as the previous year, although a few were given more. Medicaid, Department of Public Health, Department of Mental Health and Department of Corrections all received a boost. The Alabama prison system is under a federal court order to deal with overcrowded, understaffed and violent conditions. Lawmakers dropped a proposed 2% raise for state employees.

Almost all Democrats in the House have stayed home since the legislature resumed work on Monday. They say the statehouse doesn’t allow for social distancing practices needed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Democrats also say the legislature should wait until later this summer to pass the budgets in a special session when the pandemic’s toll on the state’s finances is clearer.

 

Alabama birthing units are closing to save money

One of the last remaining birthing units in southern Alabama will close next month to qualify for federal funding that will save the hospital’s emergency services, but doctors warn the move may cost newborns and pregnant women essential access to obstetric care.

Biden drops out of 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns. VP Harris gets his nod

The decision comes after escalating pressure from Biden’s Democratic allies to step aside following the June 27 debate, in which the 81-year-old president trailed off, often gave nonsensical answers and failed to call out the former president’s many falsehoods.

In Alabama’s bald eagle territory, residents say an unexpected mining operation emerged

Aside Lake Guntersville, bald eagles are royalty. But locals say a planned chert pit is already changing that status.

The UAW’s union dreams seemed unstoppable. Then came the realities of the South

After a historic victory in Tennessee, the United Auto Workers southern campaign is still recovering from a big rejection in Alabama. How will it recover?

Exhibit shows the ‘real people’ around the Civil Rights Movement

The Temple Beth El Civil Rights Experience is a guided tour that allows visitors to explore the lives of Jewish people during the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit highlighted Jews who were passionate activists and Jews who didn’t do much for the cause.

Alabama executes man convicted of killing delivery driver during a 1998 robbery attempt

Keith Edmund Gavin was pronounced dead at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in southwest Alabama, authorities said. He was convicted of capital murder in the shooting death of courier service driver William Clayton Jr. in Cherokee County.

More 2020 Legislative Session Coverage