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Top News Links: Wednesday, March 4

Patients scramble for post-Obamacare options

As the U.S. Supreme Court takes on a make-or-break Obamacare case this week, a growing number of U.S. patients and their doctors are already devising a Plan B in case they lose medical coverage. In Brewton, pediatrician Marsha Raulerson has persuaded one drug company to provide an expensive asthma medication to one of her patients if she loses her insurance. – Reuters

State starts session $290M in the hole

The state's budgets, as described by the Legislative Fiscal Office Tuesday morning, are a combination of bad news and not-good news. The General Fund, which pays for most noneducation funding in the state, faces a deficit of at least $290 million, according to numbers presented to state officials and lawmakers Tuesday morning. – Montgomery Advertiser

Bentley lays out case for tax increases

Gov. Robert Bentley last night laid out his vision for the state of Alabama’s future. Bentley wasted no time making his case for tax increases. “The budget I will send you will contain 8 separate tax increase proposals – which are fair and necessary – for a total of $541 million dollars in estimated increased revenue.” – WHNT

Alabama court pulls plug on same-sex licenses

Alabama’s highest court ordered state probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, escalating a confrontation with the federal judiciary over same-sex unions. Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore, joined Tuesday by seven of the state supreme court’s eight other members, issued a 134-page order declaring the panel’s “authority and responsibility” to act in the face of a series of rulings that invalidated the state’s same-sex marriage ban. – Bloomberg

Irony alert: Ex-HealthSouth exec has ethics book

In the nine years since he was released from federal prison for his role in the $2.7-billion HealthSouth accounting fraud, Aaron Beam, the company's former chief financial officer, started a one-man lawn care service, joined the Catholic Church and became a grandfather. In 2009, Beam wrote a memoir about the HealthSouth fraud, "HealthSouth: The Wagon to Disaster," and he has just published a second book, "Ethics Playbook." – AL.com

Ted Clem named to state development post

The Alabama Department of Commerce has named Ted Clem director of business development, placing the veteran economic developer in a leading role in the agency’s efforts to recruit new jobs and investment. Clem joined Commerce in February 2014 as a senior project manager. – Made In Alabama

Foreign Language Services honored by GS

Huntsville’s Foreign Language Services has been selected as one of 130 businesses out of 600 applicants for the 3rd Cohort Class in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. FLS founder and director Caroline Myers will represent her company as one of 59 female business owners from 35 states. – News release

Huntsville has best engineer jobs, website says

Computer programmers flock to Silicon Valley, financial professionals to New York and entertainers to Los Angeles. But if you’re an engineer looking for a new job, head south. NerdWallet ranked the best metropolitan areas in the country for engineers and Huntsville is the best place for engineers by far. – Nerd Wallet

Gulf Coast Roll-a-way acquired by GCS&I

GCS&I, Inc., a Mobile-based contractor and building supply company, has recently acquired Gulf Coast Roll-a-way, Alabama's largest installing contractor of hurricane and decorative shutters.  GCS&I has also recently moved the hurricane shutter operation from Gulf Shores to Foley. – News release

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