My first meeting of the day was with Rep Galliher. He has done significant work on a bill to tighten the rules on Sudafed but - most importantly - does not make it a prescription drug. I was working a similar bill and was referred to him by law enforcement after a meeting in Madison County. Over the course of the past two weeks, with the assistance of several parties, we’ve been able to craft a good, common sense bill. We met with a reporter from the Associated Press in advance of filing the bills. Rep Galliher sponsored HB363 in the House and I'm sponsoring SB344 in the Senate. Both bills were filed today. These are alternatives to bills already filed - SB23 and HB88 which attempt to make Sudafed and other cold medications a prescription drug. The new bills will save us all time and money but help assist law enforcement in their work to curb the manufacturing of meth. The Gadsden Times already has an article on line concerning this bill – great work!
My next meeting was a 1 PM with my colleague Sen Taylor. We are working on a bill to remove language from the Code of Alabama regarding Veteran’s benefits and war time service. I worked a similar bill last year and was successful in moving it out of the Senate and into a House Committee meeting before we ran out of days. I followed that meeting with a quick lunch at Subway. I sprang for the foot-long turkey on flatbread; now I have lunch and dinner – oh the glamorous life of a State Senator! I then had a meeting with AEA reps concerning H159 and HB160 – more on those bills later this week.
At 3:30 PM I attended a rare Tuesday committee meeting where I ushered through a bill that will make a change to a section of the ethics and campaign reform package passed last year. This change takes into consideration an instance where a candidate may live in a city that crosses two counties. Under current law a candidate must file campaign reports in both county seats – very time consuming. A provision does not exist for a candidate to file in one county, and the report to be emailed to the other county for public access. This bill corrects that. I call this bill “Potter’s Bill”…an inside joke, but a serious nod to a great friend back in District 2 who brought this to our attention!
I followed this meeting with a caucus meeting to discuss this week’s agenda. The Senate went into session at 5PM. We passed a couple of bills today. One of the most significant was SB212 by Sen Orr. This bill allows the retirement system to deny benefits of someone found guilty of committing a felony. Assuming this passes the house and is signed into law, a public employee who is found guilty of committing a felony will forfeit the taxpayer funded portion of their retirement benefits. The Senate adjourned a little after 7 PM.
Tomorrow is Wednesday and that means committee day – I’ll do the normal drill, moving from committee meeting to committee meeting. I have four committee meetings starting at 8:30 AM with a total of 10 bills, one of which I’m pitching; SB222. This bill addresses regulations on businesses and requires a regulatory flexibility analysis by state agencies of potential economic impact on rules before they are imposed.
Also, in case you missed it, I posted a rare Monday blog update on budgets that some readers might find interesting.