The Education and General Fund budgets await consideration in the state Legislature. Lawmakers have only three days before the end of 2013 regular session, expected to be May 20th. In a recent speech on the Senate floor, Montgomery Democrat Quinton Ross pleaded with Senate leaders to begin debate on the school spending plan. Lawmakers will return to the Alabama Statehouse Tuesday.
Gov. Robert Bentley's state finance director, Marquita Davis is leaving for a new job in Birmingham. Bentley's press secretary, said Davis has accepted a job as executive director of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. She will move to her new job after the current legislative session ends later this month.
The Alabama House approved a bill that allows gun owners to carry a pistol in their vehicle. The House voted 74-27 to pass the legislation. The Alabama Senate earlier passed the bill, which must go back to the Senate to approve changes made to the legislation in the House. Supporters have argued that President Obama is using recent shootings at schools and other public shootings as a reason to pass legislation reducing the right of Americans to bear arms.
The Alabama House passed a bill last night saying no public or private schools has to accept a student transferring from a failing public school under the new Alabama Accountability Act. The bill passed 62-40 and now goes to the Senate. Proponents said the bill keeps some systems from being overrun with transfers they can't afford. Opponents said it gives affluent suburban school systems a reason to reject transfers from inner-city schools. The legislation was sent to the state Senate.
The House health committee passed the Senate version of the Medicaid reorganization bill clearing the way for a vote by the House on Thursday. During the work session Tuesday bill sponsor Republican Senator Greg Reed of Jefferson, clarified that nothing in the bill would adversely affect pharmacy operators. He says the State Medicaid Agency will likely administer pharmacy programs on a statewide basis. If the Medicaid revision is adopted, the present fee-for-service system will be replaced by a set monthly payment system. Several regional care organizations would administer health care