MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (AP) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is changing its policy as the swine flu virus spreads. Alabama Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson says Thursday testing for the H1N1 virus is no longer necessary in most cases because patients with flu-like symptoms most likely have swine flu. He says the state lab's limited capacity means that the agency is restricting testing to hospitalized patients, pregnant women and certain others. The new policy will allow the agency to more
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (AP) - The State Employees' Insurance Board has approved several increases to health insurance premiums for Alabama's state government workers, requiring single employees to pay a preminum for the first time. The board voted Wednesday to charge all active employees a premium of $15 a month. Employees who are also paying for family coverage will have those premiums go up by $10 from $180 a month to $190 a month. Smokers will pay an additional $5 a month, going from $25 to
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (AP) - An independent study of Alabama's prepaid college tuition program shows that the most viable option for the troubled program is for the state to finance it over 18 years. Buck Consultants didn't recommend a specific plan or source of the funding. But it would presumably require the Legislature to appropriate more than $52 million in fiscal year 2011 and possibly more later. All this would come as schools across the state struggle with mandated budget cuts.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – (AP) - A federal magistrate judge has ruled that Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford cannot afford to pay a lawyer to represent him in his upcoming trail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Greene on Monday appointed Michael Rasmussen to continue representing Langford, who is facing bribery charges. Green wrote that Langford is not completely indigent, he just can't afford to pay for representation. Langford, Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount and lobbyist Al LaPierre were named in a 101-count indictment in December.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (AP) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is preparing for the largest vaccination program in state history. The health department says the H1N1 virus, often called swine flu, is likely to surge again and could double the number of flu-related deaths this season. The state should start receiving doses of the swine flu vaccine in the fall and should eventually have enough to give everyone two doses. State Health Officer Don Williamson said schools will play a big role in containing the virus.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – (AP) - Committees in the Alabama Senate and House have approved versions of a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to state workers for an additional 20 weeks. The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee and the House Commerce Committee approved versions of the bill that would use federal stimulus money to continue to pay benefits to unemployed workers after the initial 59 weeks of unemployment insurance has expired. The Senate sponsor, Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman of
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Senate gives final approval to a bill that will allow Jefferson County officials to levy a .45 percent occupational tax.
The measure will take effect as soon as Gov. Bob Riley signs it into law.
The bill would immediately allow the Jefferson County Commission, until Jan. 1,2010, to collect the county's current occupational tax of 0.5 percent of the salaries of many people who work in the county.
Doctors, lawyers and others who pay license fees to the county or state will be exempt from paying the tax until next year.
ANNISTON, Ala. – (AP) - Employees of Anniston Sportswear Corp. say the plant has closed, leaving 200 workers without a job. The factory makes men's pants and was once one of the city's largest businesses. The Anniston Star reports employees told the newspaper that the bankrupt parent company's new owners took the remaining pants from the factory over the weekend and closed the plant with no notice. On Friday, the company closed a deal with London-based Emerisque
August 10,2009 – (AP) - Alabama legislators are heading to Montgomery to begin a special session aimed at resolving a budget crisis in the state's most populous county. Lawmakers convene Monday night to consider bills that would help end a partial government shutdown that began last week in Jefferson County. About 1,000 county workers are on unpaid leave, and residents are waiting in line for hours to do things like renew their car tags. Court rulings earlier this year blocked Jefferson County from spending money from an occupational tax that provides about