Politics stood still

Last week promised to be a busy week on Goat Hill, but the devastating tornadoes through the northern half of Alabama forced politics to stand still.

The House and Senate ended debate early on Wednesday the day of the storms, and only convened briefly Thursday to allow legislators to get to their home districts to assess damage. Several legislators’ homes and farms were directly hit, while thousands of Alabamians they represent are affected severely by the rash of destructive storms.

A full Senate vote on Forever Wild was hoped for last week, but even before the storms hit, the vote was not expected to happen. Forever Wild needs one last vote of the Senate to be reauthorized for 20 years and could be up this week.

This week, two landfills bills are in a Senate committee. One would make a landfill application denied if a local government doesn’t act on it within 90 days. The other would set a two-year moratorium on new landfills in order to study Alabama’s solid waste program. These bills have already passed the House.

Time is getting short for this legislative session. The leadership plans to meet this week and take off the next two weeks for in-district townhall meetings on congressional and state school board redistricting. Then, the legislature plans to come back for two weeks to wrap up the session. The legislature can only meet 10 more times before June 13 according to Alabama’s 1901 Constitution.

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

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