Legislature Adjourns Special Session, Monroeville Celebrates New Novel

Jul 14, 2015

Alabama State House
Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

The Alabama State Senate and House of Representatives began their special legislative session yesterday, then quickly adjourned for three weeks.

Governor Robert Bentley had surprised lawmakers who were expecting the session to begin in August by calling it on just a few days’ notice. The session is necessary after lawmakers failed to pass a General Fund budget for the fiscal year beginning in October.

Leaders in both the House and Senate say they’re not ready to construct a solution to the state’s budget crisis, and need the additional three weeks of recess to build consensus. Governor Bentley submitted a $302 million new tax revenue proposal as part of a 2016 budget draft, but lawmakers refused to consider that or any legislation yesterday.

The special legislative session will reconvene August 3rd. Lawmakers will have about nine days remaining to hammer out a budget plan when they return.

Harper Lee’s hometown of Monroeville is celebrating the release of Go Set a Watchman.

A series of events like walking tours, storytelling and a marathon read of the book are free to the public. The day will end with a cocktail hour with mint juleps at the Old Courthouse Museum where Lee's father used to practice law.

Hannah Hood is the office manager of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce. She says the whole community is thrilled about the new novel's release.

“We are so thankful for this, because it will do so much for our town. I’ve said it over and over again: For my generation, this is the To Kill A Mockingbird. This is historic for us. This is going to bring in a whole new wave of tourism, and for that we are extremely thankful.”

Hood encourages anyone who can to attend the storytelling at the Monroe County Public Library for a chance to meet some very neat individuals who will give their perspectives on the new book.

As summer drags on, meteorologists are warning Alabama residents to be on alert from the dangers of excessive heat.

The state can expect temperatures as high as one hundred and two degrees. Along with that, the heat index can make it feel as hot as one hundred and six degrees.

Gary Goggins is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He says residents should prepare for the weather before going outside, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly.

 “You never leave a child unattended in a car at any time. Cars can heat up very quickly; over 130 degrees in just 30 minutes of time. We always say 'Beat the heat and check the backseat.'”

Goggins adds that people should take frequent breaks or head indoors if they happen to be outside for a long period of time.

Mobile oil rig repairer Signal International is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company blames a downturn in oil exploration combined with millions it likely owes to Indian workers currently suing Signal over work and boarding conditions.

Retirement Systems of Alabama already owned a minority share of the company and was a lender. It has agreed to buy the company and lend it money while in bankruptcy. Signal agrees to settle the Indian workers' claims for $20 million as part of the bankruptcy.

Signal plans to keep operating shipyards in Mobile and Pascagoula, Mississippi, with about 300 employees.

In court papers filed Sunday in Delaware, Signal says it has more than $100 million in debts, but less than $50 million in assets.