By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—An abrupt adjournment of the House last Thursday caused many to question, “why?”
The House ended its session on April 16, with a long, Special Order Calendar yet to be addressed. The spin: a Democrat filibuster. However, Republican legislators speaking on background said, the session was gaveled to a finish because Speaker Mike Hubbard had a meeting with his criminal defense attorneys.
The legislative day began with HB48 that would create an Ombudsman for Child Welfare. The Democrat minority opposed the measure, which triggered a filibuster. As the debate reached mid-day, Hubbard ended the session with 15 items still on the calendar.
Hubbard spent the previous day in the Lee County Courthouse, where a motions hearing was underway in his felony corruption case. While Hubbard was fighting a battle to keep from facing a jury trial, the House was holding a full day of committee meetings.
Several Republican lawmakers have complained privately that Hubbard’s legal problems are affecting his ability to effectively handle his job. However, no one has dared challenge him publicly for fear of retribution.
Hubbard still remains constitutionally and politically the most powerful politico in the State.
Even with 23 felonies hanging over his head, and his ability to effectually perform his duties as Speaker now coming into question, Hubbard still refuses to step down as Speaker.