LWVAL 2015 Second Special Session
Reporting on the Second 2015 Special Session
of the Alabama Legislature
Read the report
updated Sept. 12, 2015.
UPDATE 9/17/15, 12:05 p.m.: AL Legislature has passed and Gov. Bentley has signed the state budget into law. Read the story here and here. The Second Special Session of the Alabama Legislature adjourned Sept. 16, 2015.
An Open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard
Alabama needs sustainable, equitable, long-term solutions to our state's fiscal problems, not short-term quick fixes. And let there be open discussion during the budget making process so that citizens are aware and can express their views, not announcement after deals are made behind closed doors. On July 27, 2015, LWVAL sent this open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard expressing the League's views. The letter was also copied to Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, to the chairs of the four budget committees in hard copy, and emailed to others on the committees.
LWVAL is reporting on certain General Fund Revenue Enhancement bills and other non-revenue bills introduced during the 2015 second special session of the Alabama legislature. The report includes notice of each bill introduced along with the bill's sponsors, a summary of the bill, complete bill text, current status of the legislation, LWVAL's position on the legislation, and LWVAL's action. Action Alerts urging citizens to contact their legislators are posted in this report at times when their voice will be most effective. The LWVAL Action Team watches for legislation that concerns LWVAL 2015 Legislative Priorities, League Principles, and LWVAL issue positions.
On July 9, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley called for a first special session of the legislature to convene on July 13 in order to pass a General Fund Budget for the coming fiscal year. The reform package the governor outlined agrees with several budgetary reforms the League of Women Voters of Alabama has been advocating for years (e.g., un-earmarking, ending the deduction of some federal taxes from state income tax). Here is the governor's formal call. Also, see this news article by Mike Cason on al.com for more information about the call.
The reform package the governor outlined for the first special session agrees with several budgetary reforms the League of Women Voters of Alabama has been advocating for years (e.g., un-earmarking, ending the deduction of some federal taxes from state income tax).
A second special session convened on September 8, 2015 and is attempting again to pass a general fund budget. Here are details of the second special session as released by Gov. Bentley's office on Sept. 3. Also see “Gov. Bentley will ask for 3 budget reforms, 4 tax increases in second special session” by Erin Edgemon, al.com, Sept. 3, 2015.
The new state fiscal year begins on October 1, 2015. If a General Fund budget is not passed by that date, Alabama government will shut down or be forced to borrow short-term funds to keep the state's doors open until a budget is passed.
Following are the rules for a special legislative session as posted on the official website of the AL Legislature (www.legislature.state.al.us):
"Special sessions of the Legislature may be called by the Governor, with the Proclamation listing the subjects which the Governor wishes considered. These sessions are limited to 12 legislative days within a 30 calendar day span.... In a special session, legislation must be enacted only on those subjects which the Governor announces in his proclamation or "call." Anything not in the "call" requires a two-thirds vote of each house to be enacted."
The League of Women Voters of Alabama will keep members and the public informed about legislation introduced during the second special session in this LWVAL Second Special Session Legislative Report, updated weekly. LWVAL's coverage of the 2015 regular legislative session and the 2015 first special legislative session remain posted for your review.
Read the LWVAL Second Special Session Legislative Report for September 11, 2015.