I slept in my office last night as Montgomery is three hours from my home in Madison. I’m not as young as I once was and a three hour drive at midnight is simply too dangerous so I opted to stay here. Before heading home I decided to update the blog from yesterday...if I don't do it now it likely will not get done.
I’ve loaded the bills that were passed last night (as amended) below so that everyone can read them.
Illegal Immigration – This bill passed in a 23 – 11 vote…a straight up/down party line vote with Independent Smith voting with the Republicans. Goes back to House for concur or non-concur vote. If a majority of the House concurs it will go to Governor Bentley for signature. If they non-concur, a conference committee will met to negotiate differences.
Forever Wild – This bill passed in a 34 – 0 vote. The house passed the original version a couple of weeks ago that would have reauthorized the program “as is”. The votes were not there in the Senate to do this but after a long debate, a compromise was reached allowing the people of Alabama to vote to reauthorize the program, or not, in the 2012 General Election. Goes back to House for concur or non-concur vote. If a majority of the House concurs it will go to Governor Bentley for signature. If they non-concur, a conference committee will met to negotiate differences.
Tenure Reform – this bill changed dramatically from what was first introduced and I support the end product. We simply need to reform the current tenure laws. This bill passed narrowly in an 18 – 16 vote. All Republican Senators voted for the bill except Holley, Reed, Ward and Whatley. This Bill is now headed to the House for committee and floor debates.
I have a noon press conference in Huntsville with the Madison County Delegation regarding the tornado damage and recovery operations. On Saturday I will attend two Town Hall meetings with Congressman Brooks and FEMA reps. The first of which is at 11:30 at the Monrovia Community Center, the second at 2:30 at Tanner High School. I hope to attend the Whistle Stop BBQ later Saturday, I had been invited to be a “Shade Tree” category tasting judge at 3:30 but need to be in Tanner for the Town Hall Meeting first.
The Senate has recessed for the next two weeks allowing the reapportionment committee to focus on our work. We will attend several regional Town Hall meetings on reapportionment next week. The first is in Huntsville on Monday at the VBC at 6:30 PM; everyone is invited to attend. The committee plans to meet in Montgomery the following week for a couple of days to draft a plan that will be presented to the Senate and House for congressional and state school board reapportionment when we reconvene on the 24th of May.
I will work throughout the District on disaster recovery when not attending reapportionment meetings over the next two weeks. I look forward to catching up with everyone.