By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tea Party members and allies descended on Montgomery on Tuesday to welcome the Alabama State Legislature back to town for the 2013 Legislative Session at the annual Welcome Back Rally. Conservative Alabama State Legislators and other speakers addressed the crowd of Alabama conservative political activists.
Alabama State Senator Dick Brewbaker (R) from Montgomery said, “My personal political philosophy I have held since being in politics can be summed up in four words: ‘liberty and limited government.’” Sen. Brewbaker announced that he has sponsored a bill which would defund the Common Core Standards which have been adopted by the Alabama State School Board over the objections of many conservatives, including Governor Robert Bentley (R). Alabama and 44 other states have adopted the Common Core Curriculum at the urging of the Obama (D) Administration. Brewbaker said, “Even if you thought the standards are good you should still oppose the common core if you support limited government. This is not the time to concede control of education to people in Washington.” Brewbacker’s bill would defund standards not developed in Alabama. The bill is being handled in the House by Representative Jim Barton (R) from Mobile.
Senator Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale said that that he ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the previous year, but after what happened in the November election, “Washington is probably gone. The only chance to save the Republic is at the state level.”
Representative Mike Jones (R) from Andalusia said that he was sponsoring an amendment to the Alabama Constitution which would protect Alabama Citizens from having their Second Amendment rights infringed on by any international treaty. Jones said, “When I was elected I did not believe it was possible that gun rights would be infringed on in my lifetime. Now I am convinced we will face this and we will face this in the next four years.” If passed by the legislature, Jones’s SB 8 would appear on the November 2014 ballot.
Sen. Trip Pittman (R) from Daphne said that the state legislature, “needs all the help that we can get” from conservative activists. Pittman said that he was introducing the Alabama Informed Voter Act in the Senate. The Alabama Informed Voter Act would make the wording of State Constitutional Amendments simpler and easier to understand and would provide much greater transparency about future amendments on the ballot. Pittman said that he wanted to get both budgets done by the 20th day of the legislative session.
Rep. Kurt Wallace (R) from Maplesville said, “We are going to fight for Alabamians Second amendment rights.”
Sen. Bryan Taylor (R) from Prattville told that crowd that there are three bills on the agenda Thursday in Committee that are especially important: the fair ballot language bill language sponsored by Pittman, a legislature term limits, and Senator Brewbaker’s bill to isolate the budgets.
Brewbaker said that he was sponsoring the a resolution to isolate the budgeting process in the session. Senate Bill 61 seeks to create a 30 day legislative session for the budget within the 2013 (and future) legislative sessions. It would divide the session into a budget session and a policy session rather than handling the budget and changes in policy all at the same time. Brewbaker wants to avoid the last minute rush to pass the budgets that has become the norm for the legislature.
Beason told the gathered Tea Party activists that it is important for them to be informed and involved in the legislative process. Beason told the crowd to ask their legislators to explain and defend their positions. Beason said this is important for two reasons. It makes them actually read the bills. Beason said nobody in Washington does that anymore. And asking questions makes the legislature slow down.
Deanna Frankowski who is with the Alabama Legislative Watchdog and the Rainy Day Patriots addressed the crowd. Frankowski said, “I have one thing to say to the legislature: man up. Frankowski said that there are some good legislators and urged the crowd to encourage them.