The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

March 30, 2014

Legislature has work to do but time is short

— Three more days.

That’s how much time is left in this year’s legislative session.

To some, it’s appropriate the lawmakers return Tuesday — April Fool’s Day.

However, the pending legislation is no laughing matter.

Of particular interest is the $5.9 billion education budget.

In his State of the State address, Gov. Robert Bentley pushed for a 2 percent pay raise for educators and an increase in funding for the Public Education Employees Health Insurance Program — the teachers’ health insurance program.

He even said he would veto any budget that did not include the raise.

A little more than a week ago, the Republican Senate passed a budget with no pay raise and no funding increase for PEEHIP.

Later, an agreement was reached between the governor, the House and Senate for an increase in PEEHIP funding but not a pay raise.

Also on the agenda is an abortion bill already passed by the House that would extend the waiting time for an abortion from 24 hours to 48 hours after an abortion clinic provides information about adoption and the risks of abortion. A House-passed bill to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected is awaiting action in the Senate Health Committee.

Other bills include: allowing motorists to have loaded handguns in their cars without a permit; setting up a database of payday loans to enforce a state law prohibiting people from having more than $500 in payday loans out at one time; allowing people trying to start small businesses in Alabama to use “crowd funding.”

The House also voted to designate cornbread as the official state bread. It now awaits Senate approval.

And that’s no April Fool.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee