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Top News Links: Monday, April 1

Balanced budget, protecting Airbus from lawsuits top priorities for lawmakers, governor says

Gov. Robert Bentley told the Associated Press his top priorities for the rest of the legislative session are a balanced budget and laws to protect newcomer Airbus from lawsuits. — Alabama Public Radio

Teacher raises in Bentley's plan

Gov. Robert Bentley told retired teachers that he plans to give teachers a 10 percent raise over the next three years, but key legislators say he's never mentioned that goal to them. — Montgomery Advertiser

Union activity climbs in Southeast

With success at Alabama auto suppliers in 2012, United Auto Workers readies pitch for other industries. — Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson (S.C.) Business

UAW sees growth in auto and casino industries. — Reuters

Unemployment up in Alabama

Alabama's unemployment rate was up slightly to 7.2 percent for February, up from January's 6.9 percent but down from last year; some 154,885 people are looking for work. — Alabama Department of Labor PR

Polyester film plant to begin production in Decatur

Production is slated to being this week at a new $187 million Polyplex plant in Decatur, a few months after the scheduled opening date, with about 100 of the expected 150 employees. — Decatur Daily

Big budget cuts, increasing tuition harm states' higher education systems

Alabama ranks sixth for cuts to higher education budgets, seventh for increased tuition with a 51.5 percent increase since 2008. — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Many Alabamians lack access to primary health care

Alabama ranks 10th among state where residents have limited access to primary health care, with 1.61 million living in areas without enough doctors, dentists or mental health providers. — Beckers Hospital Review

Decatur mulls entertainment district

Decatur city officials are slated to vote tonight on creation of an entertainment district that would allow downtown bar and restaurant patrons to carry drinks onto the streets. — WAAY-TV

BioCryst drug moves into phase one trials

BioCryst, founded in Huntsville and maintaining some operations there, has developed a drug for the hereditary condition angioedema; the drug is slated to begin phase one clinical trials. — Huntsville Times

Board changes accompany Kaiser Group Holdings' move to Birmingham

Harold "Skip" Bowling to chair Kaiser Group Holdings as the company moves to Birmingham where its subsidiary, Kaiser Aircraft Industries Inc., is located. — Yahoo Finance

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