Special sessions should only focus on pressing issues

Published 12:20 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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By PAUL DeMARCO | Guest Columnist

It appears there are plans for two special sessions this fall for the Alabama Legislature to address a couple of important issues for the state.

First, Gov. Kay Ivey will request lawmakers meet to approve a package to finance a phased-in construction project to build new prisons and renovate existing facilities.

The chronic problems with the corrections system have reached a pinnacle and have to finally be resolved. This has been a long-time coming, and it appears there is general consensus on legislation to address the state’s aging prison facilities.

Secondly, the Alabama Legislative Reapportionment Committee is in the process of hearing from the public to finalize the new maps for the legislature, state school board and congressional districts.

The districts will be based on the 2020 Census results and must be done in preparation for next year’s elections.

Now, some special interest groups want their own bills taken up during the special sessions.

For example, there are those individuals who already want to change the recently passed law allowing marijuana for medical use to rush their product out to the public.

Of course, they don’t care that state representatives and senators should not be distracted from the important task that Alabama leaders must address this fall.

Debating any bills during these special sessions other than those that are time sensitive and critical to the state now is a disservice to the public.

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