Learn from special session

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Hank Erwin/Guest Columnist

Everyone is calling it the best special session ever.

The state Legislature came to Montgomery with a mission to finish the general fund budget and send it to the governor.

Not only did the Legislature accomplish this project but it also achieved all the extra bills Gov. Riley wanted as well.

We sent the governor a balanced general fund budget.

We constructed a tough sex offender bill, a tough eminent domain bill.

We passed tougher laws for DUI offenders. We even passed one of my film incentive bills.

We got more accomplished in one week than we did in the whole regular session.

And the price tag was not sticker-shock.

Sen. Ted Little (D-Auburn) calculated that the Senate price tag for the week was only a little more than $21,000 for all 35 senators. That’s far less than anticipated. The price tag of the House members is not as bad as thought either.

I guess if there is one downside to the week, my bill calling for a Constitutional amendment to work free in the special session was killed.

But overall, I am praising the Lord for the performance.

It proves we can work together when we put our minds to the matters of state and forget politics.

Now, if we can only learn the lessons and apply them from here on out.

Hank Erwin represents Shelby County in the Alabama state senate. He lives with his wife in Montevallo