Budget talk, AARP, Tide parking

Nov 14, 2014

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says the state's General Fund budget will be the biggest problem before lawmakers next year. Legislative leaders say they'll have a hole of at least $200 million in the budget when a fiscal lifeline expires. Voters in 2012 approved of taking money from a state trust fund to support the budget, but that bail out expires this year. The governor says he and lawmakers have already been meeting about possible solutions. Bentley and the House budget Chairman Steve Clouse of Ozark say there are no firm proposals. Bentley said last week that legalized gambling — either with a lottery or compact with the Poarch Creek Indians — is on the table for discussion. However, Bentley says gambling is not his preferred method of finding revenue. Alabama’s community colleges are being encouraged to help women over the age of fifty re-enter the workforce. The group AARP is offering grants in six states to encourage schools to offer classes to help these women get jobs. There’s a webinar today to help interested schools sign up for the grants. Jamie Harding is the Associate State Director of Communications for the state of Alabama. She believes that this program can have a big impact on women and on Alabama in general… “So anytime we can bring economic opportunity to women and their families’, it’s good for the whole community. Obvious having folks working and filling jobs that are available, these are opportunities for people to actually and for employers as well to find skill workers.” The ultimate goal is to help women from fifty to sixty four years of age to earn enough money to retire. A number of Alabama community colleges have already signed on. The deadline for joining up is December tenth. The Alabama Crimson Tide face the Mississippi State Bulldogs tomorrow in Tuscaloosa. The game could be a tough test for Alabama, and a money maker for some local fans. APR student reporter Jordan Ikner has more. Resident along thirteenth street in Tuscaloosa will soon turn their front yards into parking lots for fans eager to see the Alabama/Mississippi State game. I spoke to Morgan Koranda prior to the Texas A & M game last month. She says the twenty cars she fits on her lawn means a lot of money, depending on who Alabama is playing that week… “…The amount of money definitely depends on which game it is. A major game like the Texas A & M game could go for $40 or $50 a car. But something like Florida Atlantic would go for only $30 or possibily $20.” Mississippi State goes into tomorrow’s game ranked at number one, which could mean a big payday for Koranda. For APR news, I’m Jordan Ikner in Tuscaloosa. Jordan Ikner is part of a University of Alabama journalism class being mentored by the APR news team