News

A look at what passed and failed in the 2024 legislative session

Alabama lawmakers have ended a 2024 legislative session that saw the Republican majority win approval for a number of their top priorities.

Q&A: Bobby Carter on leading Tiny Desk, his time at Jackson State, early career advice

Carter, a Jackson State alumnus, took over as the new series host and producer for NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts” series in April.

Alabama to begin working with a consulting company that’s under criminal investigation 

McKinsey & Company, an international consulting business, will help the state of Alabama develop a new strategic economic growth plan. The company is undertaking that project, while also dealing with a probe into whether it engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

‘Stupidity of politics’: Medicaid expansion effort dies in Mississippi

Mississippi lawmakers couldn’t come together to pass a bill that could have expanded Medicaid for thousands of residents.

This spiky-stemmed invasive grass is taking over Alabama

Classified as one of the worst weeds in the world, cogongrass aggressively crowds out native species and costs Alabama landowners tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Gambling bill in doubt with three days left in the legislative session

Alabama lawmakers are coming down to the finish line for this year’s legislative session. Many bills await passage, but perhaps the biggest one up in the air is a lottery and gambling bill.

54% of support comes from members

Pro-Palestinian demonstration draws counter-protest at University of Alabama

Students gathered demanding the school call for a permanent and immediate ceasefire and to push the school to sever ties with defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

A new Statehouse and related projects will cost about $400 million

The Alabama Legislative Council, a 20-member panel comprised of legislative leaders and their appointees, approved the construction of the new Statehouse last year. The panel was given an update on the project on Wednesday.

New pilot program will offer housing, resources to people leaving prison

The Birmingham Reentry Alliance will provide wrap around services to dozens of men and women adjusting to life after prison.

Alabama committee advances ban on LGBTQ+ pride flags in classrooms

The Senate Education Policy Committee voted 5-2 for the House-passed bill, putting the proposal in line for a possible final passage in the last four days of the legislative session.

A New Orleans garden paid hundreds of dollars in fees for a sewer that doesn’t exist

Galvez Garden owner Lissie Stewart has been fighting the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board over inaccurate billing for years.

Alabama coal mine keeps digging after hundreds of fines and a fatal explosion

Following the death of a grandfather, Crimson Oak Grove Resources has left a community afraid for their homes and lives. An expert warns one resident may need to evacuate her home while she still can.

Florida’s 6-week abortion ban will have a ‘snowball effect’ on residents across the South

Abortion rights advocates say the ban will likely force many to travel farther for abortion care and endure pregnancy and childbirth against their will.

Attitudes among Alabama lawmakers softening on Medicaid expansion

Alabama is one of ten states which has not expanded Medicaid. Republican leaders have pushed back against the idea for years.

Birmingham is 3rd worst in the Southeast for ozone pollution, new report says

The American Lung Association's "State of the Air" report shows some metro areas in the Gulf States continue to have poor air quality.

Why haven’t Kansas and Alabama — among other holdouts — expanded access to Medicaid?

Only 10 states have not joined the federal program that expands Medicaid to people who are still in the "coverage gap" for health care

Once praised, settlement to help sickened BP oil spill workers leaves most with nearly nothing

Thousands of ordinary people who helped clean up after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico say they got sick. A court settlement was supposed to help compensate them, but it hasn’t turned out as expected.

Q&A: How harm reduction can help mitigate the opioid crisis

Maia Szalavitz discusses harm reduction's effectiveness against drug addiction, how punitive policies can hurt people who need pain medication and more.

Gambling bills face uncertain future in the Alabama legislature

This year looked to be different for lottery and gambling legislation, which has fallen short for years in the Alabama legislature. But this week, with only a handful of meeting days left, competing House and Senate proposals were sent to a conference committee to work out differences.

Alabama’s racial, ethnic health disparities are ‘more severe’ than other states, report says

Data from the Commonwealth Fund show that the quality of care people receive and their health outcomes worsened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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54% of support comes from members

What’s your favorite thing about Alabama?

That's the question we put to those at our recent News and Brews community pop-ups at Hop City and Saturn in Birmingham.

Q&A: A former New Orleans police chief says it’s time the U.S. changes its marijuana policy

Ronal Serpas is one of 32 law enforcement leaders who signed a letter sent to President Biden in support of moving marijuana to a Schedule III drug.

How food stamps could play a key role in fixing Jackson’s broken water system

JXN Water's affordability plan aims to raise much-needed revenue while offering discounts to customers in need, but it is currently tied up in court.

Alabama mine cited for federal safety violations since home explosion led to grandfather’s death, grandson’s injuries

Following a home explosion that killed one and critically injured another, residents want to know more about the mine under their community. So far, their questions have largely gone unanswered.

Crawfish prices are finally dropping, but farmers and fishers are still struggling

Last year’s devastating drought in Louisiana killed off large crops of crawfish, leading to a tough season for farmers, fishers and seafood lovers.

Lawmakers consider medical cannabis revamp

It’s been three years since Alabama lawmakers passed legislation establishing a system to govern medical cannabis in the state, yet not one prescription for the drug has been filled. The rollout has been delayed by lawsuits and conflict over the licensing process.

Man arrested in connection with device that exploded outside Alabama attorney general’s office

Kyle Benjamin Douglas Calvert, 26, of Irondale, Alabama, was arrested Wednesday on charges of malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

For some Gulf South schools, a March Madness loss can still be a win off the court

Making it into the NCAA Tournament can translate to boosts in student enrollment, athletic involvement, merchandise sales and more for participating schools.

‘A bad day to be a panther’: Students react to BSC’s closure

Birmingham-Southern College students learned about their school's closure while on Spring Break. When they returned to campus, their emotions ranged from frustrated to angry to sad.

Bill revamping ethics law advances in the legislature

Lawmakers also took up the General Fund budget and a proposal to increase the number of medical cannabis licenses.

Restrictions on absentee ballot help in Alabama are being challenged in a lawsuit

The Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and other groups are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in federal court. They say the statute disenfranchises voters, including senior citizens and disabled voters, who may need assistance in the absentee voting process.

‘Anybody can be a lobbyist’: In Mississippi, incarceration fuels legislative advocacy training

The program aims to teach the art of political influence and policymaking to formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones.