Thursday, Governor Bentley surprised many calling a special session for July 13th. Shortly thereafter House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh issued the following statements:
“Since the 2015 Regular Session adjourned, Members of the House and Senate have been working cooperatively to find a solution to our General Fund issues and the various task forces we appointed have been meeting as well. In order for those groups to have time to devise a solution that everyone can support, Governor Bentley gave us his word that no special session would be called until sometime around mid-August. Given the fact that our committees are still working diligently using the timeline that the governor originally provided us, we will have to take all of those factors into consideration as the Legislature convenes in this unexpected session on Monday. I am confident that the House and Senate will continue to work in a collaborative manner and will successfully develop a solution.”
President Pro Tem Marsh:
“When the 2015 Regular Session ended Governor Bentley, Speaker Hubbard and I committed to working together and waiting until a consensus was reached on how to best solve the issues facing the General Fund,” Marsh said “Though we have been working through the summer and I am confident we are close to a resolution, a consensus has not been reached in the Legislature. The Governor has decided to jump the gun, I will have no choice but to immediately call for a recess in the Senate until an agreement on the budgets can be reached.”
I’m not an expert on these things but if the governor and both the speaker and senate pro tem aren’t on the same page going into a session that’s just days away I’m worried we’re going to end up with more of the same experienced in general session. Which is to say gridlock and more gridlock.
There’s a lot of odds and ends being kicked around. Tax increases that will certainly affect every Alabama family.
I’m guessing from the perspective of House leadership that the pushback they got to bring taxes on the floor during general session is still fresh. It’s doubtful many of those same freshmen who stood up before who are prepared to back track on their word and raise taxes now.
We will follow this story in the coming hours and days.