House overrides Riley veto

Published 9:47 pm Thursday, April 30, 2009

By an overwhelming margin, 54-19, the Alabama House voted to override Gov. Bob Riley’s veto of House Bill 175 on Thursday, shortly before lunchtime.

If the Alabama Senate joins the House next Tuesday in overriding the governor’s veto, the bill will allow municipalities with populations 7,000 and below to vote on whether they want alcohol sales in their communities. Also, the bill will allow restaurants that currently sell alcohol on Sundays in Shelby County and elsewhere in the state through the use of a club liquor license to continue to do so.

State Rep. Jimmy Martin, D-Clanton, the bill’s sponsor, was headed from the House floor to the State Senate chambers early Thursday afternoon to check on its status in the Senate.

“I feel wonderful,” Martin said. “I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the governor was going to veto it because he has been doing it for the last seven years.”

Martin said he did some “talking and surveying” Thursday morning and knew he had the votes to override the governor in the State House.

As for the Senate, Martin said it did not take up the override vote Thursday but is likely to do so Tuesday morning.

“They (members of the state senate) said they would take it up,” Martin said. “We all feel pretty good that if they take it up, they will vote to override.”

State Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, also thinks the Senate will join the House in overriding the governor on the bill.

“I think it was harder to override in the House than it will be in the Senate,” Ward said. “The whole lame duck thing has started, I think.”