Countdown to the 2015 Legislative Session

While much of our work happens during the annual legislative session, Conservation Alabama is always keeping an eye on our state’s changing political landscape. This year’s regular session will begin March 3rd and end some time in June, but legislators met in Montgomery last week to hold an organizational session to elect leadership and determine rules for the next four years.

No major rule changes were made from the previous four years. We are watching one minor debate over the rule that allows the Senate President Pro Tem to send bills related to the environment to a second committee for review at his discretion. Several senators opposed the rule because there is no legal or legislative definition of “environment,” which they said meant that any bill could be deemed an environmental bill by the President Pro Tem. It is expected that this rule will be revisited once the legislative session begins, and we’ll keep you posted on any changes.

al-state-house

Rep. Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, who pleaded not guilty to 23 felony ethics charges, was re-elected Speaker of the House, 99-1. Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, nominated himself for Speaker and cast the lone dissenting vote against Hubbard. Elected to his second term as speaker pro tem was Rep. Victor Gaston, R-Mobile. Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, remains House majority leader and Jeff Woodard was re-elected House Clerk. Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, will remain House minority leader.

The Senate unanimously re-elected Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, to another term as Senate president pro tem. Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, replaces Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, as majority leader. Waggoner did not seek a second term for the post, but will remain chairman of the powerful Rules and Confirmation committees. Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, is the new minority leader. Pat Harris was re-elected as secretary of the senate.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the 2015 legislative session will hold. If you want to receive weekly updates on the bills that are progressing through the legislature, sign up for Conservation Alabama’s Hot List. We’ll also post regular updates here on our blog to make sure you’re informed about how the legislature is voting and the work Conservation Alabama is doing to protect the people and places you love.

For now, here’s a full list of the new legislative committees’ leaders:

 

Committee Chairmanships in the House

Rules: Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Madison

Ways & Means-Education: Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa

Ways & Means-General Fund: Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark

Judiciary: Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia

Agriculture & Forestry: Rep. David Sessions, R-Bayou La Batre

Boards, Agencies & Commissions: Rep. Howard Sanderford, R- Huntsville

County & Municipal Government: Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Gulf Shores

Constitution, Campaign & Elections: Rep. Randy Davis, R- Daphne

Children & Senior Advocacy: Rep. K.L. Brown, R-Jacksonville

Commerce & Small Business: Rep. Jack D. Williams, R-Vestavia Hills

Economic Development & Tourism: Rep. Alan Harper, R- Northport

Education Policy: Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur

Ethics & Campaign Finance: Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison

Financial Services: Rep. Lesley Vance, R-Phenix City

Health: Rep. April Weaver, R-Brierfield

Internal Affairs: Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy

Insurance: Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana

Local Legislation: Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton

Military & Veterans Affairs: Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise

Public Safety & Homeland Security: Rep. Randy Wood, R- Oxford

State Government: Rep. Mark Tuggle, R-Alexander City

Technology & Research: Rep. Phil Williams, R-Huntsville

Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure: Rep. Lynn Greer, R- Rogersville

 

Committee Chairmanships in the Senate

Rules: Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills

Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn

Banking & Insurance: Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Mountain Brook

Confirmations: Sen. Clay Scofield, R- Arab

Constitution, Campaign & Elections: Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile

County & Municipal Government: Sen. Paul Sanford, R-Huntsville

Education & Youth Affairs: Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery

Finance & Taxation-Education: Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose

Finance & Taxation-General Fund: Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur

Fiscal Responsibility & Economic Development: Sen. Phil Williams, R- Rainbow City

Health: Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville

Judiciary: Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster

Governmental Affairs: Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba

Transportation & Energy: Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa

Tourism: Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston

Veteran & Military Affairs: Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison

 

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