This Thursday will mark the last day of the legislative Session. For some, it was a Session that seemed would never end. For others, it was one that ended much too quickly. It may be early, yet, to write an obit on this Session, but as we approach the finish line, some perspective may be in order.
As the budgets have been written, debated, and rewritten, some difficult decisions have forced upon this body, particularly with respect to the Education Budget. We’ve had to make decisions about whether to cut the benefits and compensation of educators, or to keep the lights on in the classroom; whether to revamp and fund a [...]
I’ve heard it said that the greatest enemy of the Good is the Great. With only seven days remaining in our first legislative Session, it appears that the second rule of legislating (after “can we, should we, must we”) should be to avoid letting the Great be the enemy of the Good. As a [...]
As I sit down to write today’s recap of the week, the one thing that overshadows everything else that happened in the Statehouse was Wednesday’s storms. Yes, we passed the General Fund budget out of the House, and, yes, we had a pretty good debate on occupational taxes, but all of that pales in [...]
Yesterday, there was a standing ovation from the House floor. Maybe it was because I had just passed my first bill, HB485, which would help create the public-private partnership necessary to revive the Garrett Coliseum; or, maybe it was because the bill passed 97-0 and didn’t cost the State of Alabama one dime. Or perhaps, the [...]
As a legislator, I get a lot of calls on a lot of issues. Lately, I’ve gotten an earful on the legislative pay raise that so many thought would be repealed with the new majority. As a freshman legislator, I run a risk even taking a public stand on this issue (even some of the more senior [...]
My weekly post was delayed by a much needed get-away with my wonderful wife, Ashley. We are expecting a second child in August, and this may have been our last chance to get some time alone without children. That said, below are a collection of thoughts on various and sundry issues coming up in [...]
Next Tuesday, we will take up my friend Rep. Micky Hammon’s expansive immigration package, which is really a combination of most of the immigration bills introduced in years past. As I have stated elsewhere on this site, immigration is one of our more pressing challenges as a State, and it is one that we will [...]
My great-grandfather, Lister Hill, used to say that during his tenure as a Congressman and Senator for our great State, he learned an important rule about legislating. When creating new law, the operative question is not whether the government can do what the law allows it to do. It’s not even whether the government [...]
We have a number of important bills on the calendar in the House next week. Some of them are aimed at helping small businesses get back on their feet in a difficult economy (HB 61), some address important issues like immigration (HB 56), and some simply score political points at the expense of everything else. [...]
Yesterday marked a microcosm of how the next four years could be. We took up a very difficult issue on the House floor with the repeal of the DROP program. At the heart of the controversy was the balance between fiscal responsibility and sound legislative policy. While these two principles should not be mutually [...]
First, I want to thank Danny for the honor and privilege of posting my thoughts, here. I look forward to working with Senators Keahey and Ward and Representative Merrill to provide readers of the Parlor with timely and insightful feedback on our legislative process.
Week One certainly got off to a fast start in [...]