One final vote remains
Forever Wild continues its march toward renewal with another affirmative vote in a Senate committee.
Last week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee again passed the Forever Wild legislation 6-3, but this time it was the House version of the bill. That sets up one final vote for HB126 on the floor of the Senate, expected to come this week. Votes remain tight and a filibuster is likely by some staunch opponents to the most successful program in state history. Support for Forever Wild by the public and the more than 120 organizations signed on in support have not wavered despite the pushback from a vocal few in the state.
AARP held its “Complete Streets Day at the Capitol” last week, including a rally and lobby day around HB342. On April 20, the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee held a public hearing on the bill. While there was general support by the committee for the concept of complete streets – designing and building streets for all users including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders regardless of age or ability – concerns by ALDOT kept the bill from being voted on.
Two landfill bills moved last week. One that would make a landfill permit denied if a local government doesn’t act on the application within 90 days passed the House 95-0 on April 19. Another bill that would affirm Governor Robert Bentley’s two-year moratorium on landfills in order to further study the way landfills are permitted passed the House 88-0 on April 21.
Finally, a bill that hasn’t gotten much attention that could bring green budgeting to public works projects is awaiting a final vote in the Senate. HB13, sponsored by Rep. Jack Williams, would allow governments to consider the life cycle costs of public works projects when determining the low bidder. That means greener products that may have higher upfront costs but are cheaper to operate in the long-term can be considered.
You can follow legislation related to the environment each week on Conservation Alabama’s Hot List at conservationalabama.org.