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Halfway Through Regular Session, Not Much Done in AL Legislature

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday was the fifteenth legislative day for the Alabama Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives, signaling the midpoint of the 2014 regular session. Despite this, no bill has yet landed on the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Thus far, while both bodies have passed many pieces of legislation, neither the House nor Senate has been able to successfully get a passed bill through the other chamber in identical form and get it headed to the executive.

Currently, according to the Alabama Legislative Information System, 120 bills have been passed by House that originated in the body, and 96 have passed the Senate that originated there. Of these 216 bills which have passed their house of origin, only twenty five bills have passed in the opposite chamber, none of which have reached the Governor’s desk for enactment.

The twenty five bills that have passed both chambers in some form, all but eight are either uncontested local bills or sunset legislation.

The eight substantive bills are as follows, with six being GOP sponsored bills, and two Democratic:

HB64 – Representative Ron Johnson – Puts AL in compliance with federal military voting standards

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SB21 – Senator Allen – Allows Director of Transportation to make certain decisions without approval of Governor

SB66 – Senator Scofield – Would redact certain information from statements of economic interests

SB80 – Senator Dial – Relating to military land use

SB149 – Senator Allen – allows for allocation of EMA surplus to similar local agencies

SB207 – Senator Figures – Prohibits business taxes on residencies assessed by per unit basis

SB217 – Senator Bussman – Creates the Alabama Workforce Council

SB272 – Senator Dunn – Provides that only affected counties will be included in Governor’s statements of emergencies for non statewide issues

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Some of the hold up has been procedurally induced by Democrats, who are in a super minority, but still have some leeway for debate in the Senate. However, some slowdown has indeed been caused by the GOP as well.

Neither the general budget or the education trust fund budget has yet to pass out of committee, although the ETF budget is scheduled for a hearing today, despite vocal calls by some in the GOP for getting the budget out of the way much earlier in the session.

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