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Bill to take responsibilities from lieutenant governor delayed in Senate

After some pushback from senators, a bill that would drastically change the responsibilities of the lieutenant governor is now off the floor with no indication when it will come back.

The bill was proposed by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, who said the position is just a stepping stone to the governor and the lieutenant governors he’s seen have only spent their time campaigning.

Dial’s bill would make the position flexible with responsibilities being determined by the governor. On the floor, Dial said the governor could theoretically send the lieutenant governor to a foreign country to negotiate a deal or even run a state agency.

Because of this flexibility, the bill would also take away their responsibility to preside over the Senate and allow for the body to elect their own leader.

Others on the floor were concerned that the bill would turn the lieutenant governor position into a position that has no power and just collects a salary paid for by taxpayers.

Sen. Phil Williams, R-Gadsen, summed up the bill as letting the lieutenant governor wait for the governor to die or be impeached.

The ultimate reason for the bill’s delay was Sen. William Holtzclaw, R-Madison, who announced on the floor that he would begin to filibuster the proposal.

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Holtzclaw’s announcement came after the Senate had already survived multiple filibuster attempts dealing with the Education budget.

While accepting changes to the bill, it was taken off the floor with no time set on when it could come back. The bill’s fate hangs in the balance as this year’s session is projected to end in two weeks.

Sam Mattison
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