Legislators hopeful for remainder of session

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

State Rep. Kurt Wallace and State Sen. Cam Ward are optimistic that several pieces of legislation with local interest will be approved by this year’s session ends June 9.

When lawmakers return to Montgomery on May 24, several important matters will need to be addressed.

State budgets have passed both chambers, but differences between the two are being worked out in committee.

Ward said he thinks the state might have bottomed out concerning proration, but that the budget still looks murky for 2011-2012.

“The general fund does not look better next year,” said Ward. “We are going to have to see a significant deduction in our unemployment (for revenue projections to increase.)”

Other measures still to be considered concerns reforming teacher tenure and reauthorizing Forever Wild.

Another he says he gets calls and emails daily about people upset at the tenure bill, SB 310, Wallace said once he talks one-on-one with people opposed to the bill, there is usually some common ground.

“(The bill) gets rid of bad teachers and focuses on the good ones. It’s a good bill — it’s going to help teachers,” said Wallace.

Of local interest, the Alex Moore Anti-Bullying Bill is still seeking final approval as well as a technology bill that would add a $10 fee to traffic citations to help pay for news computers and equipment necessary for state mandated e-citation.