Alabama Lawmakers side with liberal interest group over state public safety officials

Published 9:42 am Sunday, April 3, 2022

By PAUL DEMARCO | Guest Columnist

Some lawmakers in the Alabama Legislature are again showing that their “law and order” campaign promises do not necessarily match their actions in the state capitol.

This past week, a bill being pushed by Alabama Appleseed that would weaken the state’s ability to suspend driver’s licenses for those who do not pay their traffic tickets passed the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.

The bill raised strong opposition from the office of Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshal and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The concern is if this bill becomes law, it will take away a punishment to deter those that break the law from being held accountable for traffic violations and associated fines. Further, law enforcement argues that there are already ample safeguards in place that indigent offenders can take advantage of, such as requesting a payment plan for their fines.

Despite efforts to convince lawmakers this legislation was not in the best interest of public safety; a version of this bill passed the full Senate and the House Judiciary Committee.

Thus, both Alabama House and Senate members have voted to help the SPLC in their efforts to dismantle the State’s hard-earned victory in court to pass legislation that public safety officials were fighting.

Hopefully, this bill will die in the few remaining days of the Alabama legislative session, but shame on Alabama legislators—particularly Republicans—for either not doing their homework or for putting the interests of a liberal advocacy group above public safety.

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