Abortion Providers Hope to Block New Laws, Alabama Brings In Record-Setting Tax Revenue

Jul 12, 2016

Reproductive Health Services, Montgomery, Ala.

Lawyers for Alabama abortion providers have asked a federal judge to block new state laws that ban abortion clinics near schools as well as a commonly-used second trimester abortion procedure.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson scheduled a telephone conference on the request for a temporary restraining order. Unless blocked by federal court, the new laws will go into effect August 1.

Alabama lawmakers approved legislation earlier this year banning abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school. They also banned an abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged those restrictions as an undue burden on abortion access. The group says the location restriction would force two of the state's busiest abortion clinics to close, while the procedure ban would severely limit second-trimester abortion access in Alabama.

The State of Alabama is on pace to collect a record amount of taxes this year.

While the state is expected to bring in almost $10 billion by the end of the fiscal year, there are reports saying it won’t be enough to help with Alabama’s budget woes.

Julie Magee is the Alabama Revenue Commissioner. She says most of that money can only go to predetermined projects, due to earmarking.

“Earmarking means that when the Department of Revenue brings in a tax, we are, by law, dedicated to distribute the tax to a dedicated fund. It’s not only difficult to use it any other way; it’s illegal to use it any other way. We’re bound by the legislation that earmarked it in the first place.”

Magee also says most of the revenue that comes into the state is from income and sales tax. Tourism also plays a major role in how much money comes in. Magee says the fiscal year ends on September 30th.

The State of Alabama is making its presence known at the Farnborough Airshow in London.

A small delegation of community and business leaders from Mobile and Baldwin counties will be focusing on development initiatives during the air show this week. The group is looking to recruit potential aerospace businesses.

Leigh Perry-Herndon is with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She says the delegation will also network with potential customers who may be interested in Mobile, as well as visit with corporate executives of existing industries.

“One of the interesting points about Mobile and our industry recruiting efforts is that we have forty companies that are located here that fly under international flag. And so for us being able to go over to the air show gives us face time with a lot of the corporate headquartered executives that we might not otherwise see on a day to day basis.”

Perry-Herndon says the delegation will host a reception in Mobile this evening before the group leaves. Around 180 company executives are expected to attend.