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Senate Committee passes Cigarette Tax, Saban on Middle Tennessee State

A Senate committee has approved a House-passed cigarette tax and other revenue bills as lawmakers press forward in trying to close a budget shortfall.

The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee approved the 25-cent cigarette tax after postponing a vote earlier in the day.

The committee also approved Medicaid provider taxes on pharmacies and nursing homes.

Committee Chairman Arthur Orr says negotiations are continuing and he did not know when the bills would be up for a Senate vote.

Alabama lawmakers are in a special session on the state's general fund budget which faces a $200 million shortfall.

Lawmakers must pass a budget by Oct. 1 or state agencies will be without money to operate.

Calhoun Community College’s suspended vice president will be able to keep her job and her retirement pension thanks to a legal settlement. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the details.

Vice President Alicia Taylor was suspended from her position at Calhoun Community College in May after problems with the school’s financial aid system emerged.

College President James Klauber, Jr. recommended she be terminated after audits revealed students weren’t repaying federal aid after failing to meet academic requirements. Taylor oversaw the financial aid department.

The college will have to try and get students to repay the money, or else it will be forced to repay the U.S. Department of Education up to $500,000.

A recent settlement will allow Taylor to remain on administrative leave with full salary and benefits until the end of February, and then retire with a full pension. Taylor makes over $100,000 a year.

Tailgates will be in full force in Tuscaloosa this weekend as the University of Alabama hosts Middle Tennessee State in their first home game of the 2015 season.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide is one-and-oh on the season after defeating Wisconsin 35-17 last week.

Coach Nick Saban says the Blue Raiders caught his attention after putting up 70 points last week in MTSU’s opener against Jackson State...

“They do a great job.  They go fast on offense and got really good concepts and schemes in what they do.  Good quarterback and lots of returning players on both sides of the ball.  So this is a game that, you know I feel like will be a challenge for us.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s game is three o’clock on the SEC Network.  Auburn hosts Jacksonville State in the Tiger’s home opener at eleven o’clock, also on the SEC Network.

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