The Senate went into session this afternoon and debated a total of 13 bills on the Special Order Calendar; linked here – I encourage readers to click on the bill number and download/review the bills.
A couple of bills were carried over during debate as some members had questions; this included SB191 – a bill to establish a separate board for the 2 year college system. Governance is currently included under the State Board of Education. I’ll report more on this debate in the days ahead.
Several Bills of interest were passed by the Senate today; SB126, the Open Meetings Act, SB157, a Bill establishing the Fostering Hope Scholarship Act. This Act authorizes a program to assist with fees for college and/or job training courses for children in the state’s foster care system.
I opposed SB1, the Alabama Ahead Act which is designed as a technology infrastructure program for local schools. One might ask why I would oppose such a bill as I generally am in support of technology advancements, especially in our local schools. We’ve debated this legislation in years past and my concern with this legislation is rooted in the funding mechanism. As introduced the bill called for a $100M bond issue (similar to years past) but was amended so that funding now comes from savings achieved through pro-ration prevention, better known as the Rolling Reserve Act. I do not support using funding of this nature to expand other programs and therefore voted against the bill at final passage.
The Senate adjourned a little after 5 PM for the day. I finished up with a few meetings in my office and then headed to the hotel gym for a 5 mile jaunt before dinner. I’ve crossed over the 230 mile mark for 2015!
Tomorrow’s activities will start with the County and Municipal Government Committee meeting at 9AM. The Senate goes back into session at 4:30 PM.
Semper Fi - Bill