Tell Your Representative: VOTE NO on SB 38!
During the special legislative session that resumed in earnest on Tuesday, Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Arab) introduced Senate Bill 38, which would effectively end the Forever Wild Land Trust program by transferring its budget to the state parks system and prohibiting Forever Wild from acquiring any more land. Forever Wild is one of the most popular conservation programs in the state’s history, and was renewed for another 20 years in 2012 by an overwhelming majority of voters.
Conservation Alabama deployed an Action Alert to make it easy for conservation voters to communicate with their state senators about their opposition to SB 38. Over 200 messages were sent, but the bill passed the State Senate by an astonishing vote of 32-1. Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) was the only senator who took a stand for Forever Wild and voted no.
When we saw how quickly the bill passed the Senate, we updated our Action Alert to target the House Ways & Means Committee as well as general House members. Thanks to great partners like Alabama Rivers Alliance and Black Warrior Riverkeeper who shared the alert, over 400 messages were sent to state representatives to tell them that Forever Wild must be protected. (If you haven’t already, click here to tell your representative to vote no on SB 38!)
The Ways & Means Committee heard you loud and clear, and postponed a vote on SB 38 to allow time for people to voice their opinions on the bill. Rep. Randy Davis (R-Daphne) and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Gunter Guy spoke against it. Commissioner Guy made it very clear that SB 38 would not solve the state parks’ budget problem, and that the state was not in favor of removing Forever Wild’s funding.
As of Friday morning, the Ways & Means Committee has not scheduled a vote on SB 38. The legislature is expected to stay in session over the weekend, and we will be watching closely to make sure we alert you as soon as a vote is scheduled. In the meantime, give your representative a call today and let them know to vote NO on SB 38. You can find the contact information for their offices on our website.