Category: State of Alabama

ALDOT Moves Road Money to Admin Fund

The Alabama Department of Transportation recently moved $7 million from a road fund to help cover administrative costs for the last three months of the fiscal year.

The department said the move is allowable and typical late in a budget year. The money is coming from ALDOT’s Public Road and Bridge Fund, which consists largely of gas tax receipts and federal funding receipts, but not the 2019 gas tax increase. That account, known as the Rebuild Alabama Fund, is specifically prohibited from being diverted from road and bridge projects for other purposes.
State agencies often transfer Legislature-allocated money between funds throughout a budget year, as allowed by law. The actions have to go through the Department of Finance.

Still, the decrease in road funding and increase in administrative funding first reported by Alabama Daily News Monday gives some lawmakers pause. Read more.

Community Leaders Gather for Open House of Montgomery Mental Health Crisis Center

MONTGOMERY — Community and Alabama Department of Mental Health leaders gathered Wednesday to get their first look at one of the three new mental health crisis centers going up across Alabama.

These facilities will provide 24/7 care for anyone experiencing an acute mental health crisis and are meant to ease the burden on local emergency rooms and jails that have become the main receivers of individuals in crisis. The other facilities will soon open in Mobile and Huntsville. There are also plans to open a fourth in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa area. Read more.

Extra Unemployment Benefits Ended Saturday

As of Saturday, Alabama’s unemployed workers will no longer receive extra federally funded benefits put in place to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Kay Ivey last month announced she was withdrawing the state from those programs effective June 19. Read more about her reasons and the effects on the unemployed in BirminghamWatch’s original reporting.
Governor Shuts Down Extra Help for the Unemployed, Says Workers Needed to Invigorate the Economy

Kelly Butler to Retire as Finance Director Citing Possible ALS Diagnosis

MONTGOMERY — State Finance Director Kelly Butler is retiring Aug. 1 due to medical complications that might be associated with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Gov. Kay Ivey said today.

Early symptoms point to an ALS diagnosis, and Butler will undergo additional testing in the coming days, a press release from Ivey’s office said.

“Without exception, Kelly Butler has been the finest finance director to have ever served the state of Alabama,” Ivey said. Read more.