Folks who understand state politics in Alabama, and those who follow the affairs of state government closely, pretty well agree that the regular session of the Alabama Legislature is going to be most difficult. Currently there are several agendas on the table for the session, including one from the Governor, and one from the Democratic Party. There are some positive and well-meaning items in each agenda. I will take a brief look at each of them below.
Everybody agrees that Gov. Riley has a most ambitious agenda for his last regular session. His legacy will depend in large part on how the session plays out. His priority list includes:
The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate came with an equally ambitious agenda. Since we are in an election year, in order to get anything done, I believe the Democratic leadership must take a bi-partisan approach on all major issues. Their list includes:
I haven’t seen a separate agenda from the Republican legislative leaders and assume that they will push the Governor’s agenda with little deviation. But if the special interests oppose the Governor, I suspect at least some of the Republican lawmakers will jump ship. Since the Republican leadership in both the House and Senate have had a tendency to take a negative stand on many important issues, I believe they too must be more bi-partisan on all major issues facing our state that require legislative action during this session.
I believe the creation of jobs and dealing with issues relating to the economy should take center stage during the session. It’s clear that Gov. Riley is depending on more stimulus money from Washington to make his budgets work. That source of money will have to be in the range of $1 billion to fund the budgets in addition to the available state revenues as projected by the Finance Director. I agree with Speaker Seth Hammett who said: “you can not count an appropriation from the Congress until the Congress approves the appropriation.” This makes good sense and especially this year with all of the partisan bickering in Washington. Of course, the vote in Massachusetts for the U.S. Senate seat may change the climate in Washington on the stimulus money. So as Rep. Robert Bentley observed: “Until I see the money I am not going to believe it.”
In addition to the agendas mentioned above, the special interest groups will play a major role in the legislation that passes and fails during the session. I guarantee you that their lobbyists are already hard at work. Actually, I probably should have included a separate agenda for them, but space limitations wouldn’t allow it. You can probably figure that most of the agendas for those in Corporate America who operate in Alabama aren’t very consumer friendly.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.