The new Legislature got off to a bang in December, with a special session to pass ethics bills that had been stalled on Goat Hill for years.
Today, of course, was when the real work began –- the start of the regular session. With a new party in control, and lots of talk about paring down inefficient government, this session promised to be something the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
But now that the session is underway, it’s clear that a lot of familiar Montgomery themes are still in the air on Goat Hill.
For one thing, Alabama is still run by a strongly centralized government. Thus The Dothan Eagle has a story on the bill that would allow Dothan to raise property taxes
. Another bill would allow counties to raise gas taxes. And so on. Expect to see more local governments coming to Montgomery to ask permission for this or that in coming weeks.
And then there are the state’s many regulatory boards. In an interview with The Anniston Star,
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said he’d like to sunset a lot of those boards. But today, there’s a bill that would create a new board to regulate private investigators, and it has Marsh’s name on it.
And just in case you were missing the culture wars of old, Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, has introduced a bill to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom.
Meanwhile, the effort to repeal the lawmakers’ pay raise
appears to be completely dead in the water.
Welcome back to Montgomery. Some things have changed. And some things stay the same.