Friday, May 15, 2009

House Adjourns for this 2009 Legislative Session

Speaker Seth Hammett Will Not Seek Re-election to House Seat in 2010

Speaker Seth Hammett from Covington County announced from the House floor prior to adjournment that he will not seek re-election to his House seat in 2010.

In a press release, he stated that "The time has come for me to step aside and make way for the next group of legislative leaders. This decision was made after many discussions over the past several months with my family. My decision is final."

Speaker Hammett first took office in 1978 and is one of only two speakers to serve three terms as presiding officer of the House.

He further stated that "I wanted to make this decision known because the political season will start in earnest the beginning of June and all involved deserve to know my intentions now."

During his announcement from the House floor, Speaker Hammett said that he has no intention of stepping down from his post as speaker until his term expires at the end of 2010.

Senate adjourns, SINE DIE!

The Alabama Senate adjourned, sine die, this afternoon at 3:15 pm. Members worked through an eight page special order calendar and concurred with the House on a number of pieces of legislation. The senate also voted to non-concur with Governor Riley on a number of different bills that he vetoed.

Stay tuned for information on hot topic legislation that did not make its way to Governor Riley’s desk this year.

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2009 Shroud Award Ceremony

The Alabama House of Representatives held the 31st Annual Shroud Award Ceremony for the deadest bill during the 2009 Legislative Session.

Runner's Up for this award included:

HB268 by Ron Johnson relating to salvage pools

HB338 by Jack Williams requiring reporting of animal abuse

HB536 by Joseph Mitchell requiring recording of debate in the House

HB412 by Tammy Irons regulating Individual Tax Preparers

HB629 by Craig Ford specifying school start date (Rep. Ford has been runner-up for "The Shroud", 3 out of last 4 years)

Various Governor's Ethics Bills

HJR91 by Demitrius Newton providing for election for Constitutional Convention

HB676 by Marcel Black regulating certain bingo facilities

"Sweet Home Alabama" plan

HB569 by Jamie Ison increasing insurance premiums for certain state employees

HB245 by Cam Ward banning cock fighting

At the end of the ceremony, it was declared that the Deadest Bill of the 2009 legislative session and winner of this year's Shroud Award is the Grocery Tax Bill, HB116 by John Knight.

House Commends Rep. John Knight

The House commended Rep. John Knight this afternoon for his service to the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

While serving overseas, Rep. Knight was awarded the Silver Star.

Senate sees a slow down

Ferociously working this morning the senate is slowing down this afternoon. Tensions rise over HB567 by Representative Johnson relating to prescription drug license taxes. Senator Bedford insists that this legislation be passed but Senator Quinton Ross continues to speak on the bill and stall passage.

House in Recess Until 12:45

House Flies Through Special Order Calendar

The Alabama House finished today’s special order calendar by 12:10 p.m.

The only business remaining for this legislative session in the House is to receive messages from the Senate and await reports from the Conference Committees.

The House expects to adjourn by 2:00 this afternoon.

Final legislative day!

Today is the final legislative day; the Alabama Senate convened at 9:00 am this morning. The senate continues to concur with the House on a number of bills and re-pass legislation with the Governor's veto not withstanding.

In addition to concurrences, Senator Ben Brooks introduced and passed a resolution commending Representative John Knight on his military service. All senators signed on as co-sponsors to the resolution.