Legislative Session Update, League of Women Voters' Primary Website

Feb 18, 2016

Alabama State House
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

The Alabama House of Representatives approved measures to cement the state’s right-to-work status and to ban the sale of fetal tissue yesterday.

One bill would amend the state’s constitution to prevent companies from requiring their employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The practice has already been prohibited under state law, but Republicans say adding the language to the state constitution will make Alabama more appealing to industry. Lawmakers fell three votes short of passing the measure last week. Yesterday, the bill passed 69-33.

Another bill that passed the House 76-24 would make it a state felony to sell fetal tissue in Alabama. Republican Rep. April Weaver sponsored the legislation. She says she wants to make it clear that Alabamians will not tolerate the sale of fetal tissue for research purposes. Federal law already says abortion clinics cannot profit from donating tissue to research.

Both bills will now move to the Alabama Senate.

Alabama’s Presidential primaries are less than two weeks away, and the National League of Women Voters wants to use their website to educate voters.

Vote411.org is a “one-stop shop” where residents in Alabama can find information on how to register to vote, who is running, and where their nearest polling booth is.

Kathryn Berg is First Vice President of the League of Women’s Voters of Alabama. She says there are differences between a Presidential vote and local races.

“We are giving information so people can make their own decision. It’s important for people to understand in this election that we are dealing with a presidential primary, and that is partisan, so people will need to declare whether they wish to vote for the Republican or for the Democrat.”

The Alabama primary is coming up on March 1st. Voters can visit Vote411.org for more information on candidates and where to go to vote in their area.

Theatergoers in west central Alabama are getting a sneak preview of a new show that may wind up on Broadway.

The University of Alabama’s theater department is teaming up with Tony Award-winning producer Margot Astrachan to produce the new musical, “The Countess of Storyville.” The show is about a woman who returns to New Orleans to open a brothel.

Dominic Yaeger is with the University’s theater department. He says professional actors have the lead roles. But one student is working as the projectionist, which is key to the show…

“A lot of the set pieces help kind of tell the story and give the feeling of where they are, if they’re in a certain building, or if they’re outside, or if they’re in the courtroom. There are projections up on the set that help give that feel.”

Margot Astrachan was the producer of the Tony-winning musical “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder.” Once “The Countess of Storyville” finishes in Tuscaloosa, the show moves onto Pasadena before a possible run in New York.