Winter Storm Warning, Gov. Bentley on Healthcare, Alabama Same-Sex Marriage update

Mar 4, 2015

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has declared a state of emergency ahead of a weather system that's expected to bring freezing rain to part of the state.The National Weather Service says rain will change to freezing rain and sleet in northwest Alabama early Thursday morning.

A winter storm warning was issued for north and central Alabama and forecasters say the potential for ice accumulations is greatest in the northwest region of the state. The warning is in effect from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters say temperatures in some areas are expected to remain below freezing through Friday afternoon.

Bentley says he has ordered state agencies to prepare to respond to requests for help. Bentley says 250 Alabama National Guardsmen have been activated to help with any emergency requests.

Governor Robert Bentley covered many topics in last night’s “State of the State” address to ring in the 2015 legislative session.  On top of the $541 Million tax increase proposal, he also talked about recruiting industries to help create jobs in the state.

Bentley says the session will introduce the “Made in Alabama Accelerate Alabama Jobs Incentive Package.”  He says the plan will no longer be based solely on debt and increase incentives for new projects that locate in Alabama’s rural areas.

“Passing the Accelerate Alabama jobs incentive package will once again make sure that Alabama leads the nation in the recruitment of high-skilled, well-paying jobs the people of our state need and deserve.”

Bentley also says Alabama’s current incentives for businesses are 15 years old, out of date and 100-percent dependent on borrowing money.

The latest twist in Alabama's same sex marriage controversy drew a quick response from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that probate judges have to stop issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The state’s probate judges will be required to adhere to Alabama law defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, even though a federal district court declared that law unconstitutional in late January.

Richard Cohen is the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He says he’s disappointed in the court’s ruling...

“You know, we’re about to celebrate another civil rights milestone, the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Alabama officials were adamantly opposed. And I just think it’s a shame for Alabama on the eve of such an important anniversary to find itself on the wrong side of history again.”

The confusion is expected to be cleared up when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage later this year. They’re expected to rule nationally on that issue in June.