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Top News Links: Monday, Dec. 29

State combines 12 enforcement agencies

Alabama's massive consolidation of law enforcement agencies has been completed ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline, and the most visible sign of the merger is more patrols on the busy highways during holidays. Gov. Robert Bentley said the consolidation is good for the taxpayers. "But you may not like that if you are speeding," he said. – AP/The Republic

Migrant worker shortage on horizon?

Farmers already scrambling to find workers in California -- the nation's leading grower of fruits, vegetables and nuts -- fear an even greater labor shortage under President Barack Obama's executive action to block some 5 million people from deportation. – AP/AL.com

Katrina whistleblower suit appealed

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. has appealed an order that it pay legal fees and damages of $3 million in a whistleblower lawsuit. A jury in Mississippi found the insurer defrauded the government in a policyholder claim after Hurricane Katrina. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments for Feb. 5 in New Orleans. – AP/TheState.com

Look for tax reform in 2015

Residents of Georgia, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Alabama could all see declines soon in their personal income tax rates. Legislators in these states have been planning for tax reform in 2015. – Fiscal Times

Deadline for SBA loan class is Feb. 2

The Small Business Administration is reminding residents that low-interest economic injury loans for working capital are still available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding that occurred April 28 - May 5 in Alabama.  The deadline to apply for a working capital disaster loan is Feb. 2, 2015. – PRNewswire 

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