While there is still time for passage, it doesn’t appear our state will be getting a new constitution in the immediate future. Unless things pick up very soon House Joint Resolution 91 and Senate Joint Resolution 20 won’t pass during the current session. Only a great deal of public support from around the state, passed on to the Legislators, can make the difference. If enough people from around the state let their House and Senate members know that they support a new constitution the resolution will have a chance to pass. That would light a fire in the House and Senate on this issue. But time may have already run out for this session.
As a matter of fact, the Joint Resolution will allow the people of Alabama to vote for a Constitution Convention to rewrite the 1901 Alabama Constitution. The resolution was introduced in both the House and Senate by Speaker Pro Tem Demetrius Newton in the House (HJR 91) and by Senator Ted Little in the Senate (SJR 20). Each Resolution – unlike a bill – was sent to the Rules Committee in the respective chambers. One of them will have to come out of committee very soon if there is to be any chance for passage during the session.
As you may know, the Joint Resolutions are the same as the bills that have been offered by the sponsors for the past three years. The only difference is that a resolution doesn’t require approval by the Governor. Many Legislators see the importance of moving forward on this issue and favor the convention approach. While the current resolutions have 26 co-signers in the House and 15 in the Senate, there are some powerful special interests at work opposing a new Constitution. They like the old one because it helps them control government at every level.
If you believe we need a new constitution and also trust the people of Alabama to make our own decisions, call your Legislators and let them know you want them to vote for the resolutions. Ask them to allow you and your fellow Alabamians to vote on whether to call a Constitutional Convention. In my opinion, a new constitution is badly needed and is important to our state’s future.
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