Lawmakers Race Over Local Minimum Wage, Black History Month Wraps Up

Feb 25, 2016

Alabama lawmakers are quickly moving to block a minimum wage hike that has already been approved in Birmingham.

The Alabama Senate could vote today to give final passage to a bill stripping cities of the ability to set their own minimum wages.

Republican Rep. David Faulkner of Mountain Brook says his bill will maintain uniformity across the state. Faulkner says it would be an undue burden on businesses to allow hundreds of different minimum wages across Alabama.

Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, a Democrat from Birmingham, says she is concerned about people trying to feed their families on current hourly wages.

Alabama doesn’t have a state minimum wage and uses the federal minimum of $7.25. The Birmingham City Council has voted to raise the minimum hourly wage to $10.10, effective as soon as possible.

Black History Month wraps up next Monday. But APR student reporter Allison Mollenkamp reports celebrations and observances will continue into next week.

The City of Selma will hold its 51st Bridge Crossing Jubilee a week from today. The event remembers “bloody Sunday“ in 1965 when voting rights marchers were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Black history month in Alabama included the unveiling of a new mural at the Rufus A. Lewis Library in Montgomery. Director Juanita Owes says artist Bill Ford included images of the Montgomery bus boycott as well as “bloody Sunday”.

“He told the story when he unveiled it about when he was a little boy and he’d sit on his father’s lap and anything he told his father to draw, his father could draw for him. And he said, ‘My father gave me my name, he gave me my career, and I’m giving this back to my father.'”

Black history month continues this Sunday at the Birmingham Public Library with a concert by the Wenonah High School Choir. For APR news, I’m Allison Mollenkamp in Tuscaloosa.

High schoolers in the Mobile area are getting a chance to see what a career in healthcare might be like.

The Bay Area Healthcare Coalition and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce is teaming up for the 13th annual Health Occupations Career Fair. The event targets 10th graders in public and private schools. These students get to talk with healthcare officials and try out hands-on exhibits.

Emily McGraff is the Director of Education for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She says the point is to have students looking ahead to their future.

“The goal of the health occupation career fair is to start these students early thinking about what their plans are going to be post-high school. So we want them to be able to see a career in healthcare is more than just a doctor or a nurse.”

The two-day event wraps up today at the Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall.

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will be visiting Alabama this weekend ahead of the state’s primary vote on Tuesday.

The Clinton campaign says she’ll hold a get-out-the vote event Saturday in Birmingham. Campaign officials say Clinton plans on discussing income inequality and other barriers faced by American families. More details about the visit will be released later.

Alabama votes alongside 11 other states next Tuesday in the Super Tuesday primary election, when Republicans and Democrats will award hundreds of delegates. Several Southern states are participating in Super Tuesday this year in what’s being called the SEC Primary. One U.S. territory will also participate on the Democratic side Tuesday.