Government

Legislative Wrap-Up: Updated Sex Ed Language, DA’s Fight Medical Marijuana Bill

Alabama lawmakers have been more receptive to bills that ease restrictions on alcohol this year. Senators approved a wine delivery bill this week without much debate.

Analysis: President Biden Addresses Congress

(Wednesday, April 28, 2021) President Biden is addressing a joint session of Congress on the eve of 100 days in office. Watch his remarks live. Live annotations, with fact-checking and analysis by NPR journalists, will be available below for both President Biden’s address and for the Republican Party’s response. EDITOR’S NOTE: (4/29/21) The link to […]

Alabama Avoids Loss Of Congressional Seat With Slight Population Gain

Alabama avoided the loss of a congressional seat as its population grew from 4.8 million in 2010 to 5.03 million last year, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

A Decade Later, Tuscaloosa Continues Rebuilding From Deadly EF-4 Tornado

Of the 62 tornadoes that struck Alabama on April 27, 2011, the largest twister hit Tuscaloosa, killing 53 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes and businesses. A decade later, much of the city has redeveloped, but communities are still recovering.

Local, Federal Officials Launch Partnership To Reduce Gun Violence In Birmingham

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin launched a partnership with federal and local law enforcement agencies to impose stiff penalties for people who have unauthorized guns.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Racial Profiling, Voting, Vaccine Passport Bills Considered

A bill to ban racial profiling has failed to win support for almost a decade, but it was one of many measures debated this week in the Alabama Legislature.

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Lake Homes Realty

Erasing The Stain: 15,000 Pardoned Of Marijuana Possession Convictions

Mayor Randall Woodfin plans to pardon more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession.

Jefferson County Nears Deal For New Humane Society

The plan is for Jefferson County to purchase lots one and two of the property, which would remain under county ownership. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society would purchase lot three and build an animal hospital and adoption control facility there.

Financial Controversy Over Two Prison Contracts Gives Bibb Opponents Hope

Major banks have backed off of financing two of the three proposed new prisons in Alabama. The banks’ sudden resignation as lead underwriters for the bond sale is considered highly unusual.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Senate Moves To Nullify Federal Gun Control, Passes Gambling Bill

Alabama is one of several conservative states where lawmakers are considering a measure making it a crime to enforce federal gun regulations.

Redevelopment Of Southtown As Mixed-Use Property To Begin In June

The redevelopment plans have been several years in the making.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Medical Marijuana, Yoga Bills Gain Traction

The push to legalize medical marijuana is gaining momentum in the Alabama Legislature. The bill would allow people with certain conditions to buy medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. We have more in our weekly legislative wrap-up.

Birmingham Getting $5 Million To Battle Homelessness

The funding will come through HUD’s Home Investment Partnerships Program and is intended to help cities create affordable and supportive housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Secretary of State John Merrill Won’t Run For Office Next Year, Acknowledges Affair

Merrill was expected to announce a run for U.S. Senate in 2022.

Gov. Kay Ivey Announces ‘Safer Apart’ Order As Mask Mandate Ends

Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued a proclamation transitioning the state from an amended Safer at Home Order to a new Safer Apart Order.

Alabama Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility To Those 16 And Older

That means a total of about four million Alabamians will be eligible starting Monday.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Bills on Habitual Offenders, Trans Athletes, Public Records Advance

Alabama's prisons are severely overcrowded. Some state lawmakers say repealing a law that stiffens punishment for repeat offenders would help alleviate that.

Bill Would Cut Pensions For Future Birmingham Employees, Raise Employee Contributions

A bill proposed this session would require the city of Birmingham to fully fund its pension obligation and increase employee contributions to the pension fund by half a percent. But opponents of the bill say, if passed, it would disproportionately affect lower-earning city employees.

JeffCo Commission Moves Toward Buying Land Next To Shady Grove Fire Station, Selling Old West End Health Center

Jefferson County wants to buy property from the state of Alabama. The land is located next to the Shady Grove Fire Department.

Mo Brooks Sets Up U.S. Senate Campaign Committee

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks is expected to make an announcement tonight that he plans to run for U.S. Senate.

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54% of support comes from members

Legislative Wrap-Up: Transgender Sports, Abortion, Riot Bills Advance

Alabama is one of several states considering bills restricting transgender minors. The sports bill is the second one related to transgender youth introduced this session.

Biden Administration Pushes To Vaccinate All Americans Against COVID-19

The White House said officials are working through issues of access and vaccine hesitancy.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Gambling Fails, Medical Marijuana, Anti-Riot Bills Face Hurdles

A bill that would have added a lottery and casinos was defeated in the Senate. In the aftermath, some lawmakers said a lottery-only bill would have stood a better chance.

A Year Like No Other: COVID-19 In The Gulf States

In a special broadcast one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, reporters from public radio stations in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana reflect on the toll it’s taken on the region.

New Report Outlines Voter Suppression In 2020 Election

A new report says Alabama did not do enough during the 2020 election to make voting easier for residents. But the Sec. of State disagrees.

As Alabama Seeks To Build New Prisons, Mississippi Sets Sights On Reform

Alabama's governor recently signed leases on two new private prisons with a goal of improving conditions for inmates. But reform advocates in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are urging a different approach.

JeffCo’s County Manager Plans Retirement After 10 Years Helping To Navigate Rough Waters

Jefferson County’s one and only county manager says he plans to retire this year.

Alabama Would Lose Seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas Under Federal Proposal

There's a proposal that would reduce the number of Metropolitan Statistical Areas in Alabama from 12 to five. Public comment on the proposal is being accepted through March 19.

Derelict Banks High School Building Set To Be Demolished

The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the one-year extension of a loan agreement with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to tear down the building.

Environmental Groups Say Water Board Isn’t Effectively Protecting Drinking Water Supply

A new lawsuit against the Birmingham Water Works Board claims it failed to comply with a 2001 consent decree that protects land around the Cahaba River watershed, a major source of Birmingham’s drinking water.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Lighter Marijuana Penalties, Transgender Youth Therapies, Confederate Monuments

The week's highlights: A bill to ban therapies for transgender minors passed in the Alabama Senate. Lawmakers rejected a measure that would have given cities and towns more flexibility to move unwanted Confederate monuments elsewhere.

Ivey Extends Face Mask Order But Not For Long

Gov. Ivey leaves face mask order alone for now, but says it will end April 9.