At the State House this Week
As the Policy Director for Conservation Alabama, Jeff Martin learns about State House issues firsthand. Check back here at the end of each week for his commentary on what’ s going on in Montgomery.
Passing the House this week was a package of energy bills that included:
§ Research centered around biofuels and fossil fuel energy
§ Tax rebates for energy efficiency and ways to make state agencies more energy efficient
§ Legislation by Rep. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) creating a transportation commission to oversee the Department of Transportation
§ A bill by Rep. Jeff McLaughlin (D-Guntersville) banning PAC-to-PAC transfers, which passed
After four legislative days, there have been 379 bills introduced in the Senate and 509 introduced in the House. The Senate has passed 17 bills, most relating to local legislation. The House has passed 58 bills.
We still don’t know if the Senate will continue its third year of squabbling lessened accomplishments. It did not look positive on Tuesday when a visibly upset Senator Phil Poole shut down the Senate. Thursday was an improvement with the Senate passing a few non-controversial bills.
Personalities, rather than politics, seem to be the underlying factor in the Senate’s failure to get along with each other. One lawmaker summed it up best when he said, “They just don’t like each other.” The fact that the Democratic majority is missing three Senators this session might play into many closed-door secret meetings, with each caucus trying to persuade members of the other to join them.