Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Summary of Action in the AL Legislature

Courtesy of the Tuscaloosa News

Summary of action in Alabama Legislature
The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 5:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 5:46 p.m.

A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Tuesday, the third meeting day of the regular session:


-Passed bills to continue the existence of 23 state professional regulatory boards. Go to Senate.

-Passed a bill that encourages state officials to purchase vehicles that are energy efficient. Goes to Senate.

-Debated but did not vote on a bill to set up an authority to manage the operation of toll roads and bridges in Alabama.

-Joined the Senate in a joint session to hear Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb speak about the state's court system.


-Shut down in stalling tactics by Sen. Phil Poole, D-Tuscaloosa, who accused legislators from outside Tuscaloosa County of getting involved in a sewer line dispute in his home county.


-Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in room 727 of the Statehouse.

-Senate Health Committee meets at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in room 727 to consider an alert program for missing senior citizens.

-Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee meets at 11 a.m. Wednesday in room 609 to consider Greene County bingo legislation.

-Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday in room 727 to consider energy grants.

-House Constitution and Elections Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 603 to hold a public hearing on a bill to require voters to show government issued photo identification at polling places.

-House Education Appropriations Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 617.

-House Government Operations Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 622.

-House Judiciary Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 123 to consider a bill to give subpoena power to the Alabama Ethics Commission.

-House Public Safety Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in room 602.

-House Health Committee meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Joint Briefing Room.

-House Government Appropriations Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. in room 617 to consider budget request from Department of Corrections and from court system.

-House Banking and Insurance Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 621.

-House Committee on Boards and Commissions meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 601.

-House and Senate meet at 10 a.m. Thursday.


-"It looks like they are back in their old habits for the third year in a row." - House Speaker Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia, discussing stalling tactics in the Senate.

So, Poole is going to shut the entire session down over petty shit (literally) again this year? I don't know much about Poole and have no direct dealings with him, but I dislike him muchly. I know a senator has the right to stall...but we have real serious problems in Alabama and for the last, (God how many years is it now?) the Alabama Senate has prevented us from getting any of it done all because of one Senator or another deciding to engage in a pissing match. A pissing match where they all earn some $60,000 + for pissing away our time, money and effort at getting bills passed in Alabama.

The are two ways I see to fix the political problems we have in Alabama. The first is

HB279 The Initiative and Referendum Bill
If you are unfamiliar with I&R please read up on the I&R process here.

HB279 had its first reading in the Alabama House of Representatives recently. This is a constitutional amendment that, if passed by the legislature and approved the Alabama voters, will make Alabama the 25th state to have an Initiative and Referendum process for its citizens.

The other way I see to bring about change in Alabama politics is HB393 The Recall Bill. This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide that all elected state, county, and municipal officials would be subject to recall and would establish the procedures.

We need both of these bills to pass. I will be writing more about what to do and who to call tomorrow to urge support for these bills.

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