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Governor’s executive amendments defeated in legislature

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

The Alabama House rejected Governor Bentley’s heavily contested executive amendments on HB658, which would delay certain portions of the Accountability Act, and voted to keep the original bill as passed.

House Republicans had stayed quiet on their plans to handle the governor’s executive amendments, while House and Senate Democrats, as well as Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) had announced their plans throughout last week.

When the governor’s amendments came to the House floor, Representative Jim Carns (R-Birmingham), the bill’s sponsor, motioned to non-concur with the governor’s changes.

The motion to non-concur passed with 57 yay votes and ten nay votes.

All Republicans voted for Carns’s motion, except for Representatives Alan Baker (R-Brewton), Alan Boothe (R-Troy), Steve Hurst (R-Munford), Jamie Ison (R-Mobile), Mike Jones (R-Andalusia), Wes Long (R-Guntersville), Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka), Randall Shedd (R-Cullman) and David Standridge (R-Hayden).

All of the Democrats either abstained or passed except for Charles Newton (D-Greenville), who voted no.

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Following the motion to non-concur, the House voted to override the governor’s veto and pass the original legislation. The vote to override passed with 59 yay votes and nine nay votes.

Again, the Democrats mostly abstained or passed, except Newton who voted no again.

The dissenting Republican nay votes included Boothe, Hurst, Jones, John Merrill (R-Tuscaloosa) and Standridge.

Although Marsh had promised not to let the bill out of the basket, the House vote killed the Governor’s amendments. The Senate had no way to keep the governor’s amendments alive, so Marsh brought the bill to a vote.

Since the House had already voted to non concur with Bentley’s executive amendments, the Senate only had two options. They could let the bill die in the basket, by not bringing it to a vote at all, which would eliminate HB658 all together and leave HB84 in place. Or, they could concur with the House vote, rejecting the governor’s executive amendments and overriding the veto to leave SB658 in place as passed out of the legislature two weeks ago.

The Senate chose to bring the bill to a vote, and they cast 19 yay to 15 nay votes to concur with the House.

In the Senate, the eleven Democrats voted against concurring with the House. Three Republicans also cast votes against concurring: Senators Jimmy Holley (R-Elba), Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and Clay Scofield (R-Arab).

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