Some Lawmakers Upset, Say Bills Being Rushed


By Ashley Thompson

Throughout this legislative session, some bills have made lawmakers very upset. And it's not because of the content of the bill, but because of the way they were passed.

Some lawmakers are speaking out against the way they say the Republican majority continues to pass bills. Democratic Senator Quentin Ross is one of them. He says several senators weren't present when a controversial bill was passed.

"People were kind of meandering around and all of a sudden, you heard the role being called," he says. "Well, not everyone was in the chamber so by the time I was able to run to the chamber, they'd already passed a piece of legislature."

That piece of legislation is a bill that would require some welfare recipients to be drug tested. Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey says she doesn't think lawmakers should be angry with how it passed, because she says no rules were broken.

"The body sets the time to come back and to do business and a number of them were not there," says Ivey. "When that time arrives, you call them to order and business just picks up."

The School Accountability Act, which gives tax credits to families who move their children from failing public schools to private schools was also passed in a manner that outraged some lawmakers. Ross says Republicans revised an original eight page bill into a 27 page bill without the Democrats help and tells us it has destroyed trust between parties.

"Because we have kind of done away with our rules and not following rules, basically it has just become a mockery of the legislative process," he says.

But Pro Tem Del Marsh says he supports the way the bill was passed, saying it needed to get through the Senate just for some lawmakers to even consider it.

"Today, there's a bill on the counter to look at more school choice," says Marsh. "It's a mediation to the accountability act. We would have never been able to have that discussion if we didn't have school choice and we have it now."

Political Analyst Steve Flowers says he believes Republicans are using their power to get back at Democrats for when they ruled the Senate.

"It's almost like some pent up, let's get back. It's our time at the table. It's our time at the troph and we're going to run over them."

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