Chamber gets legislative update

Published 10:42 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce got an overview of the last legislation session from District 34 Senator Rusty Glover of Mobile County during its Oct. 3 luncheon.

“Last year we had a lot of progress in the Alabama legislature … There was an extraordinary amount of bills that people thought we would never pass that we did get passed,” Glover said.

One major issue during the session was redrawing the district lines to keep the populations the same in each one. The number of people in an area can change because of growth or people moving. Every 10 years the legislature reviews the districts to see if changes need to be made.

“There was a challenge to our district lines that we drew in 2012 and we had to go back and make those changes those to comply with the court lawsuit,” Glover said.

A memorial preservation act was passed prohibiting the changing of names of memorial streets or moving historic monuments on public property that have been in place for 40 years or more. However, the act does allow for a public memorial school that has had that name for 20 years or less to be changed, according to a copy of the act.

“We also had a pro-life bill pass. It doesn’t outlaw abortion in the state of Alabama, but what it does do is if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned It makes Alabama a pro-life state. If the voters approve of this amendment in the next election that will be the case,” Glover said.

Another law that passed allows parents to add their children on their insurance for treatment of autism.

Crossover voting during a primary is also prohibited now by state law. Glover said this keeps those who voted in one party in a primary from voting in the opposing parties run-off elections.

“It prevents potential mischief that people might have in elections with side not having a primary runoff maybe going over to the other part to pick the least potent candidate,” Glover said.

Students in Alabama are now required to take the test immigrants take for citizenship. The test will be given as a part of the students’ senior level government class

“It’s a serious issue when you have students graduating from high school without a basic knowledge of our government or our history,” Glover said.

Each year passing the general budget for the state and the education budget for the state is a requirement for the state legislature.

“The Alabama Constitution mandates that we have to have a balanced budget,” Glover said.

He said legislators are proud that for the last seven years the state has had enough funds to allocate to each department, rather than prorating the budget.

“Our education budget has been doing a lot better,” Glover said.

He said there are some concerns about the general budget in future years.

The legislature plans to look at tax breaks that are no longer needed and could be eliminated. Glover said he would much rather do this than raise taxes.