By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh has said that his revolving door bill will be the first piece of legislation up for consideration tomorrow when the body reconvenes for its seventh legislative day.
Ending the ‘Revolving Door’
The bill, SB36, would be one more step in an effort by Alabama’s legislature to prevent retired lawmakers from lobbying in the body. Restrictions already in place prevent a legislator from lobbying the house from which he took his leave, but a loophole allowed he or she to openly and lawfully do so in the other body. Any former State Senator could feel free to lobby the House, and Representatives the Senate. Many criticize the loophole as an unforeseen problem that lawmakers who passed the regulations could not have intended, and Senator Marsh says he is focused on getting these stricter provisions in place.
On Friday, Senator Marsh, who represents Anniston, told Alabama Political Reporter, “I really am committed to that bill.”
Keeping it Bipartisan?
That does seem to be the case, with the Marsh saying that the vote was delayed mostly due to the fact that two of his colleagues were not able to be in the chamber to support the legislation; the one senator he named was veteran Democrat Hank Sanders, who has recently spoken out in wanting even stricter regulations than the Pro Tem has proposed.
For example, Sanders has recommended that the current and new restrictions be applied to the other branches of State Government as well, and that they also cover relevant families as well. Senator Sanders has commented that without changes, the new legislation could prove just as ineffective as the old.
In his comments on Thursday, Senator Marsh said that they are working with Sanders on changes and that they have jointly met with the ethics commission for advisement.
Vote Expected Tomorrow
With the Senate set to convene tomorrow, all eyes are on the legislation, which has long been touted by GOP leadership as a key piece of their agenda this session. It also seems Marsh is ready to get Democrats on board with their amendments, though the outcome is yet to be seen.
“I feel confident that by Tuesday we can get all that put together,” said Marsh.
“We can have everyone in the chamber and have a vote on it. It will be the first bill on the special order calendar on Tuesday.”
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