That’s A Wrap – For Now

AL Capitol DomeAfter an eventful legislative day last week that culminated with the House overriding the governor’s veto of the General Fund budget, this week was notably quieter. The House met for a “work day” on Thursday, but because the Senate adjourned last week, there was not much for the House to do. Representatives listened to presentations about the dire state of Alabama’s finances and the potential negative consequences of passing a General Fund budget similar to the one passed by the House and Senate last week.

Because the governor vetoed that budget and Senate was not in session to join the House in overriding the veto, the state of Alabama does not currently have a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1. Governor Bentley is expected to call the legislature back to Montgomery later this summer to resolve the budget crisis, at least in the short term.

While several of Conservation Alabama’s priority bills were passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, one is still in limbo. In Alabama, if a bill is passed fewer than five days before the end of the legislative session, the governor has ten days to sign it from the day of adjournment. If he fails to do that, the bill dies, which is referred to as a pocket veto. We’re watching SB 220, which establishes a tax credit for projects that make buildings more energy efficient or resilient to storms. This bill was submitted to the governor on Thursday, June 4, the last day when both chambers were in session. He has until the tenth day, this Sunday, June 14, to sign the bill into law.

Once the governor has scheduled the special summer session, we will bring you that information and a preview of what the budget talks might look like. Until then, our weekly blog posts will take a break from focusing on legislative activity to bring you information on our other priorities, including coastal restoration and ways to support Alabama’s state parks. On Monday, we’ll release the last weekly Hot List email of the regular session. You can find the Hot List archives on our website, and a full look at environmental bills on our Bill Tracker.

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