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.
It was a big week for quarry legislation in the Alabama legislature. House Bill 804, sponsored by Rep. Jeff McLaughlin, had a public hearing in the House Committee on County & Municipal Government on Wednesday. About 15 people showed up to support the legislation, and those speaking did a wonderful job articulating their concerns about quarries. The bill is expected to be voted on in committee next Wednesday. We are up against the powerful lobbyists of Vulcan, the Road Builders and the County Commissioner’s Association; however, the public hearing seemed to sway a number of legislators and we anticipate a close vote.
Four local quarry bills for Limestone County sponsored by Sen. Tom Butler passed the Senate this week and have been assigned to the House Committee on Local Legislation. The bills would prohibit quarries from establishing within certain distances of schools, TVA, etc…
In other legislative news, the Senate passed the Education Budget and the House passed the General Fund Budget. The Senate also managed to come together and pass dozens of local pieces of legislation.
With only seven legislative days left, it is crunch time for the legislature, evidenced last night with the House not adjourning until after 10 p.m. and the Senate working until almost 5 p.m. Next week will be a two-day work week, followed by a rare four-day work week. The final day of the legislative session will be May 18th.