Gas tax increase sails through Transportation Committee, heads to full Senate

gas pump
[Photo Credit: Image by geralt on Pixabay]

A bill to raise the state’s gas tax by 10 cents a gallon passed unanimously in the Alabama Senate Transportation and Energy Committee Monday afternoon. The bill now moves to the full Senate Tuesday.

All 12 members of the committee voted for the tax increase. They include State Senators:

  1. Gerald Allen (Chairperson)
  2. Dan Roberts (Vice Chairperson)
  3. Priscilla Dunn (Ranking Minority Member)
  4. David Burkette
  5. Tom Butler
  6. Donnie Chesteen
  7. Chris Elliott
  8. Sam Givhan
  9. Andrew Jones
  10. Steve Livingston
  11. Randy Price
  12. Greg Reed
  13. David Sessions

What happens next

Since the state legislature is in special session, only 18 members of the 35-member Senate are needed to approve the bill. That’s because Gov. Kay Ivey called the state legislature into a special session to pass the bill, which lowers the threshold for approval. In the regular session, bills connected with the state budget must pass with a three-fifths majority.

The State House of Representatives passed Ivey’s gas tax proposal on Friday, 83-20. If the Senate passes the exact same version of the bill, it will head to Ivey’s desk for her signature and will become law.

Should the Senate make any amendments to the bill, two things can happen. The House can concur with the changes, and they will be accepted. Or, a Conference Committee will convene — consisting of three members appointed from each chamber — to work out their differences between the two versions of the bill. Both chambers must adopt the Conference Committee report, or a motion may be made to send the bill back for further negotiations. Should agreement never be reached on the measure, the bill is lost.

The state’s gasoline tax was last increased in 1992.