By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
A House Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that would change the standard for special elections in the Legislature.
Sen. Rusty Glover’s, R-Semmes, bill would allow for seats that are left vacated after Oct. 1 to stay that way until the next election cycle.
The House Committee on Constitution, Ethics and Elections approved the bill on Wednesday after a brief discussion of changes made to the bill during its run in the Alabama Senate.
The substituted bill at Wednesday’s committee meeting is a far cry from the original bill that first circulated the Legislature.
Originally, Glover’s bill and its House counterpart allowed for the governor of Alabama to fill those seats.
At Wednesday’s committee meeting, however, Glover said that the previous version was met with concerns of committee members of the potential implications it could leave.
The bill comes after the state spent thousands of dollars on various special elections that are taking place right before the regular election cycle.
Currently there are four vacancies in the Legislature with three in the House and one in the Senate:
- House District 4 after state Rep. Micky Hammon was found guilty of ethics violations.
- House District 21 after state Rep. Jim Patterson passed away in October.
- House District 83 after state Rep. George Bandy passed away in January.
- Senate District 26 after Sen. Quinton Ross vacated the seat to become the president of Alabama State University.
Glover’s bill is also a constitutional amendment, so it must overcome extra hurdles when passing out of the Legislature with the bill needing the approval of two-thirds of the Legislature. From there it will be voted on by Alabama citizens as with all Constitutional Amendments.
(Unfortunately, Majority Leader Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter was inaccurately identified in this article. The majority leader who pleaded guilty to a federal crime was former Majority Leader Micky Hammon. Alabama Political Reporter sincerely apologizes to Majority Leader Ledbetter and is sorry if this caused him any distress.)