Halfway Home

Last week, not only did we reach the halfway point of the legislative session, Forever Wild is halfway home to being renewed for another 20 years.

After about an hour of floor debate and several amendments adopted, the Alabama House of Representatives voted 69-24 on Thursday to send HB126, the Forever Wild reauthorization bill, to the Senate for consideration. Now, the process starts over again in the Senate with committee review and then a vote from all Senators. Since the Senate companion bill already received a favorable report in committee, it is expected that the House version will get out of committee. However, votes are tight in the Senate, and there likely will be several weeks of lobbying on both sides of the issue before the full Senate votes.

The bill requiring ALDOT to consider all users when it designs and builds roads in Alabama will receive a public hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday in House Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure Committee in the Statehouse Room 621. The committee is not expected to vote on the complete streets bill this week, but proponents such as AARP and opponents such as ALDOT are expected to speak. The public hearing falls on the heels of the Complete Streets Day at the Capitol, hosted by AARP Alabama on Tuesday, April 19.

A new bill that was introduced recently would ban Bisphenol A in baby products. Commonly known as BPA, Bisphenol A can mimic hormones, causing cancer and leading to behavior problems, such as ADHD. Several states have banned BPA products. This bill, HB362, has been assigned to the House Health Committee.

Finally, the bill to regulate coal ash as solid waste is one vote away from becoming law. It passed a Senate committee last week, and is awaiting a full Senate vote, which could come as early as this week. Alabama is the only state in the country that doesn’t regulate coal ash.

You can follow legislation related to the environment each week on Conservation Alabama’s Hot List at conservationalabama.org.

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