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.
Last week in the legislature, there was little movement or discussion on environmental matters. In the Senate, most of the talk this week was over Senate procedures. Senate Republicans are insisting they receive notice one legislative day in advance on the proposed special order calendar. The special order calendar consists of the bills that are proposed for floor debate. Historically, many Senators don’t see the calendar until it is proposed on the Senate floor. The House Rules Committee meets a day in advance and posts the next day’s special order 24 hours prior to the session day. While, Republicans in the Senate would like to see the Senate Rules Committee operate similarly to the House Rules Committee, Senate Rules Chairman Lowell Barron told them that was not going to happen.
The Senate stayed in session all day on Thursday, not adjourning until after 5; however, because of the Republican filibustering, only 3 bills were passed.
Thursday marked the 12th legislative day. This week is Spring Break and the legislature will reconvene on Tuesday, March 24th.
When they return next week, the first bill to be considered in the House is HB116 that deals with the removal of the state sales tax on groceries. This legislation is expected to lock up the House for at least the day and will probably slow things down for the week. Last year, this bill passed the House with exactly the 63 votes needed to pass a constitutional amendment.