The growing pains within the Republican caucus experienced yesterday can best be described by a story from my minister in a sermon about Christian growth. He related a story about a star basketball player who makes the impossible look easy doing amazing things on the court. But, they had to work through the cumbersome times of growing into their big feet, lanky arms and legs and the literal growing pains of muscle and bone growth, etc long before flying above the rim. The Republican caucus, just as basketball stars and Christians, must also work through the cumbersome times as we mature. That is just what we experienced yesterday in heated debates. While the process may not have been pretty at times, I’m proud of how we worked through the issues, agreed to disagree, and in the end, passed a comprehensive illegal immigration bill.
One of the most significant battles from yesterday was based on granting policing powers to the Alabama Department of Homeland Defense. Several of us felt that this was not needed – others felt it was a necessary aspect of the bill. The amendment to pull the section passed, in a narrow vote. In a rare procedural call to reconsider, a second vote was taken and the amendment failed 17 - 15. In the end, the bill as passed grants policing power to the Alabama Department of Homeland Defense. The final bill passed in a 26 – 6 vote (6 Democrats voted against the bill). You can read the bill here. The Senate adjourned at 5:30 and I headed home shortly thereafter, arriving in Madison just before 9 PM
In other news, yesterday was Autism awareness day in Montgomery. Between early morning meetings and debates on the Senate floor, I was able to visit with several families from North Alabama whose children are autistic. I was able to discuss, first hand, some of the challenges they face ranging from education to treatment. It was very nice meeting everyone and I look forward to working with you on this important issue.
I plan to enjoy the Easter weekend with my family and hope you can as well. On Monday I will visit two local schools, one in Madison County and one in Limestone County. That evening I will attend an AEA rally at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens starting at 5 PM. I will have to leave that event in order to attend the 6 PM public hearing in Madison concerning the property tax referendum to repeal/replace the sales tax used for Madison’s new high school. On Tuesday morning around 6:20 I’ve been invited to call in on the Toni and Gary Show (WBHP, 106.5 FM and 800/1230 AM) to discuss happenings in Montgomery. I always enjoy talking with Toni and Gary – hope you can listen in.
Lastly, from my family to yours - Happy Easter!
Matthew 28:6 – he is not here; he has risen, just as he said.