Senate hinders progress

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Talk about a situation that makes you want to bang your head against a wall.

The Alabama Senate is currently moving as fast as a woman attempting to smear make-up on, while she&8217;s driving down U.S. Highway 280 chatting on her cell phone. The Senate&8217;s failure to budge when the light is green could be just as detrimental.

Let&8217;s say the Senate continues to be stalled and doesn&8217;t manage to pass the Education and General Fund budgets in the next three days. The state government will be forced to call a special session just to pass the budgets, which already have been slashed due to a slow down in the state&8217;s economy.

Calling a special session costs $400,000. We&8217;re guessing there might be a few schools hungering for a few thousand dollars to make repairs or improve technology. That money could be put to good use, not wasted on giving the Senate more time to do nothing.

A continued delay in the Senate looks to cost the state and especially Shelby County more than money. Shelby County delegates have toiled over a bill to monitor vehicle insurance verification, another to prevent felons from financially benefiting from their crimes and a bill to make the county&8217;s coroner position full-time. The first could force more people to carry insurance and the second could better protect victims of violent crimes.

The latter seems desperately needed in a county that is expected to continue growing by leaps and bounds over the next decade. Ponder this. What is the point to paying for state Senators if they can&8217;t get the job done? We all definitely know what a deadline looks like; our jobs and many of yours depend on meeting them. So, why don&8217;t the state legislators.