Rep. Todd convenes transit stakeholders

With more than a thousand people from both sides of the gambling debate rallying outside the Statehouse, the energy inside the building had to do with energy legislation last week.

Rep. Greg Wren, one of the co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Energy, has championed many of the energy bills this session. HB127, which promotes fuel use and emission reductions by allowing larger trucks to be equipped with idle reduction technology, only needs Senate approval before it goes to the Governor.

Also, bills (HB264 and SB315) to update the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes to comply with federal energy and building guidelines have passed their house and the second house’s committee, meaning they are only one vote away from going to the Governor as well.

In the effort to fund transit, Rep. Patricia Todd convened stakeholders from Alabama Arise, ALDOT, the county association, the road builders, and Conservation Alabama to talk about HB116. The meeting was an informative conversation, giving all interests the opportunity to discuss their concerns and desires related to road and transit funding. Rep. Todd has promised to keep the conversation going in order to find some mechanism to fund transit.

Related to the hog farm bill (SB61), representatives from the Sand Mountain Concerned Citizens testified for the second time regarding hog farms in their community – this time before the House agriculture committee. Following their pleas for better enforcement from ADEM on concentrated animal feeding operations, Rep. Thomas Jackson, the chair of the committee, suggested that a legislative oversight committee might be in order to investigate ADEM’s enforcement practices.

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