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Senate Passes Bill Providing Procedure for Closing State Parks, Offices, Agencies


By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The bill, SB24, sponsored by Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison), proposing the procedure by which the State parks, offices and agencies may be closed, passed out of the Senate Ways and Means, General Fund Committee today by a unanimous vote. 

“There may or may not be a justifiable closing of parks, offices, drivers’ license offices, etc. We don’t know,” said Holtzclaw.

Currently, the State does not have procedures for closing these entities. Holtzclaw’s bill would direct the closings follow the process provided by the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act in Chapter 22 of Title 41, Code of Alabama 1975.

Holtzclaw continued, “If those closings take place, the voice of the people needs to be heard in the process.”

Any park, office, or agency closing would need to notify the chairman of the Legislative Council at least 45 days before the proposed closing date. The proposal would then be brought before the Council for approval or disapproval.

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“It will allow that community or communities that may be affected by that closure to have an opportunity to be heard by their representatives…It gives legislators a voice in the closings in there communities,” said Holtzclaw. 

If the Council does not act on the proposal, it will automatically proceed with the intended closing. 

Should the Legislative Council approve the closing, then that entity would close as scheduled.

If the Legislative Council disapproves a closing, there will be an opportunity for a hearing. Any disapproved closings will not become effective until the adjournment of the next regular session of the Legislature.

“This allows us time that maybe we could make some budgetary adjustments that would keep it open,” Holtzclaw assured committee members. 

The bill now seek to be heard on the Senate floor. With the possibility of the Austerity Budget passing, or some derivation, the Holtzclaw seeks to legislatively address the procedures.

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