No special sessions yet for recent controversial issues

Published 8:11 pm Monday, August 2, 2021

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By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

When the Alabama Legislative Session adjourned in May, there was a lot of talk of the unfinished business that was not completed.

And that it would take Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special session to accomplish what had been on the agenda.

Some of the items folks thought the governor might consider calling the lawmakers back into session this summer included addressing the state’s chronic prison system problems, a constitution amendment related to gambling and how to spend the millions of federal dollars sent to the state to address the pandemic.

After decades of debate and support from the governor, there was thought this may be the session that the parties reached some agreement on gambling. As for Alabama’s corrections system, there is a federal lawsuit the state is fighting. Gov. Ivey has had a proposal to build three new prisons to address this issue, but it has yet to materialize.

So far the governor has not shown any inclination towards bringing the legislators back to Montgomery other than to draw up new Congressional, Legislative and school board districts this fall based on the new census data.

The next regular legislative session is six months away, so at this point it appears it will be 2022 before all of these issues are back on the table for debate.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.