My first meeting of the day was the Legislative Council Meeting at 8:30 AM. I’m newly elected to this council. As I understand it, members of the House are appointed to the council by virtue of various Chairmanships they hold. Senators are either elected by the body at large – such as in my case – or they serve by proxy as a committee chairman. This was the first meeting of the Council for this quadrennium and our first order of business was to elect a new chair and vice-chair. We then re-adopted the Legislative Sexual Harassment Policy for this quadrennium.
My next meeting was the Transportation and Energy Committee meeting at 9:00 AM. We debated several bills today in this committee and I am pleased to report that SB44, the legislation I’ve introduced to reverse the newly increased driver’s license fees as discussed in the blog here, was given unanimous support and passed out of the committee. I hope to be able to bring this timely and important legislation before the full Senate early next week.
The Senate went into session at 10:00 AM. I’m pleased to also report that there seems to be some early progress with respect to negations regarding the Birmingham Water Works legislation that stalled the Senate yesterday. I’m encouraged to see the two sides working to find some middle ground that this legislation can then move forward on.
Several bills were passed out of the Senate today, most notably were bills relating to alcohol sales in small municipalities. Again this legislation was a result of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling earlier this year. These were House bills and are now on the way to the Governor for consideration and signature.
We also debated the “3-foot” bicycle law. I maintain, as discussed in the blog last week, I’m in favor of passing a law that actually does more to prevent bicycle vs. automobile accidents while we share the roadways across our state. This afternoon I have received emails from a couple of Police Chiefs stating that the law, as written, cannot be enforced. The bill sponsor agreed to carry the bill over so that we can work together, along with bicycle enthusiasts and law enforcement, to craft a better solution.
I have a busy weekend ahead with out of town family visiting…they are really here to see Holt, our new grandson but I’m sure they’ll spend a few minutes with me. I’m also excited about running my first 5K of the year – Lead Me to the Cross 5K, benefiting the Monrovia Volunteer Fire Department. Same day registraition is available if you’d like to join in. It looks like we’ll finally have some warm and dry weather so I hope everyone enjoys a great weekend.
Semper Fi - Bill