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Alabama Legislators Consider State Lottery, AL Delegates at Democratic Nat'l Convention

Democratic National Convention
2008 Democratic National Convention

Alabama lawmakers are currently being polled about support for lottery legislation as Governor Robert Bentley contemplates calling a special session on Medicaid funding.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says legislative leaders are gauging interest from state legislators. Marsh says the discussions come as Governor Bentley contemplates calling a special session that could include a lottery bill.

Last week, Gov. Bentley released a statement saying he would make an announcement soon as to whether he would call a special session on Medicaid funding. He and state Medicaid commissioner Stephanie Azar say the state's Medicaid system lacks $85 million in needed funding.

Alabama is one of only six states without a state lottery. Alabama voters rejected a lottery proposal in 1999.

The Democratic National Convention kicks off today in the city of brotherly love. APR student reporter Taylor Swinney has more.

Alabama will have 72 democratic delegates on hand when the Democratic National Convention gets underway today in Philadelphia.

Nancy Worley is the Alabama Democratic Chairwoman. She says the convention will not only serve as an introduction of Hilary Clinton as a candidate for president, but also as an opportunity for delegates of various backgrounds to meet.

“Each day of the convention, Monday through Thursday, there will be caucus meetings and council meetings representing various groups, so that they can get their voices heard in the Democratic Party.”

Worley hopes people watch both conventions and pay close attention to each candidate and what they focus on.

Alabama is in the middle of a hot and humid summer, and federal aid is available to help senior citizens who may be particularly vulnerable to the heat.

Elderly people can get assistance in paying their air conditioning bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Willie Whitehead is the unit chief of the energy division of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. He says the program assists low-income families with paying their cooling bills.

“They are really vulnerable households, and they have heat-related illnesses. So it’s important that these people receive this assistance in order to keep their electricity on so they can cool their homes and be comfortable. It’s a health and safety issue too.”

Whitehead says last year his organization was able to help around 90,000 households.

The Collegiate Triathlon Club National Championships are coming back to Alabama next year.

The Tuscaloosa News reports triathlon clubs from across the country will travel to the championships in Tuscaloosa for the fifth time since 2007. The annual event includes a swim, bike and run through a course designed around the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.

No official date has been set, but the event will be held in 2017. The Collegiate National Championships have been held in late April, including the most recent championships, which were held this past April in Clemson, South Carolina. Tuscaloosa also hosted the U.S. Olympic Trials for triathlon ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Collegiate Championships played host to more than 120 teams and 1,200 total athletes this year.

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