Thursday, March 12, 2009

Filibustering in the House Continues Into the Afternoon

The twelfth legislative day in the Alabama House began as a productive day this morning while legislators voted on resolutions and passed the first item on the agenda, Officer Houts Act, which had been delayed from Tuesday for clarification.

The bill was amended to zero in on the type of officer that can actually make an arrest of an individual eluding an officer. It also protects citizens from being charged with eluding an officer while trying to find a safe place to pull over so long as they perform some type of activity (such as slowing down or turning hazard lights on) to alert the officer that they are aware of him / her.

Things slowed to a virtual stand-still after the second bill, HB 175, relating to alcoholic beverages was introduced. Opponents of the bill as well as others opposed to a bill further down the calendar began filibustering. Representative Rogers said that he was going to filibuster until Representative McClendon agreed to carry over his bill, HB 152, to another day. Shortly thereafter, Representative Laird made a motion to adjourn since the legislature will be on spring break next week. The motion failed by a vote of 18 yea’s and 49 no’s.

The filibuster continued after the lunch break and another failed attempt was made to adjourn for spring break by Representative Bridges.

At 2:00 the filibuster broke and HB 175 passed; however, activity has slowed as representatives continue to take advantage of the full time allowed for debate.

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