We’re just one day away from the start of the 2018 state legislative session here in Alabama. At noon tomorrow, January 9, legislators will convene in Montgomery and session will begin.
Conservation Alabama’s goal is to make it easy for you to follow the legislature’s work and the bills that could impact our natural resources. Whether you’re a casual observer or a political junkie, we have a way for you to stay plugged in:
Conservation Alabama’s Bill Tracker: The legislation we’re following this session can be easily accessed through our Bill Tracker. See quick summaries of the bills or read the full text, track their progress through the legislature and see how your elected officials voted. This is a great way to check in on session and get as much information as you need at a glance.
The Hot List: If you want weekly updates on session delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for The Hot List. This email gives you a detailed look at the bills Conservation Alabama is tracking, and also highlights opportunities for you to get involved in the legislative process.
Action Alerts: Your voice is often our most effective tool in protecting Alabama’s natural resources. By sending Action Alerts at critical moments, we can demonstrate the support that our environment enjoys so that legislators know their constituents care. You can subscribe to receive Action Alerts via email so that you never miss a chance to speak up for our state.
Our blog: Every week during session, we publish a blog post right here to update you on what happened in Montgomery and preview what’s in the works for the following week.
If you have questions about session or our work in Montgomery, feel free to contact us.
See you on Goat Hill!
Since early January, I’ve been anxiously skimming over every prefiled bill that makes its way onto ALISON, searching for legislation regarding Alabama’s environmental policies. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s slim pickins’ this session for those of us who think green; but today, I was made aware of a quiet little bill making its way into Montgomery.
Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) is ready to bring about some much-needed revenue for our state’s transportation facilities and services – courtesy of those individuals behind the wheels of vehicles that get less than 27 miles per gallon.
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule – private vehicles past the ripe old age of 10 are exempt, as are those that do not have an established EPA fuel economy rating. If your vehicle gets 27 or more MPG, your annual cost is zero, but those vehicles getting 10 MPG or less will pay an annual fee of $240.
As the mileage gets better, the price goes down. Pretty simple.
To sweeten the pot, 75 percent of the funds raised from the tax will be earmarked specifically for public transportation projects that have been approved by the metropolitan planning organization or regional planning commission. The remaining 25 percent may be used to improve roads.
Transit has been a hot topic throughout the state lately, particularly in the Birmingham area. Should this legislation pass, the opportunities for increasing public transportation use will be substantial, resulting in less vehicles on the road in the first place, decreasing carcinogenic toxins in the air, and promoting physical activity and wellness.
Conservation Alabama is proud to support this bill, and we look forward to working with Rep. Todd and others to help get this bill passed this legislative session.