Both House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) seemed enthused by the amount of work accomplished in their respective chambers this week.
The scene in the House was often more heated than that in the Senate, as House members took up several key Republican agenda items while Senators toiled away at a pile of Sunset Law bills.
“I think it was a very productive week,” Hubbard said, praising the work of House Republicans in passing issues important to the party.
Among the bills which cleared the House this week were a bill enshrining Alabama’s status as a “Right-to-Work” state in the constitution. The House also passed the “Unborn Infants Dignity of Life Act” and the “Uniform Wage and Right-to-Work Act.” All three bills faced stiff opposition from House Democrats, with the “Right-to-Work Act” from Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Shelby) even facing defeat earlier in the session.
Hubbard is looking at beginning work on the General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets as early as next week, as well as a bill that would make Alabama the first state in the nation to provide all of its schools with internet access.
Marsh echoed most of Hubbard‘s statements.
“It was a great week,” Marsh said. “I think we got a great start.”
Marsh praised Senators for passing a wide array of Sunset Law bills with little difficulty and a calendar which limited the amount of controversial bills coming up for discussion in the early weeks of the session.
Marsh noted that it is his intention to address budget issues next week as well, along with those bills which passed through the House and Senate committees this week.
Many of the bills which created discontent among Democrats in the House will likely face the same fate in the Senate, including the bill to prohibit municipal minimum wage increases from Rep. David Faulkner (R-Jefferson), which Marsh had no comment on.
Hubbard, who opposes the institution of a state lottery, also hopes to see language added to the lottery bill from Rep. Alan Harper (R-Northport) to indicate where profits from the perceived lottery would be directed.