You know we’re headed for another legislative train wreck when one of the supermajority’s main legislative priorities is to fight Obama and Syrian refugees. The GOP is planning to serve up a 2016 Unicorn Hunt and a plethora of PSA initiatives that include: union busting, business tax credits, guns in more public spaces (maybe to fight off the Syrian refugees?), redefining marriage, and making some things that are already illegal even more illegal – like the sale of body parts. In their spare time, they’ll luxuriate in a bit of Confederate nostalgia.
None of this is new: the Syrian thing is simply a new spin on an old issue. Our “Christian” legislators have long been interested in enshrining “religious liberty and conscience clause” protections for state employees and medical workers. They are, however, only too anxious to make sure that those darn Muslims don’t get out of hand.
House minority leader Craig Ford summed it up:
“The rest of their agenda is unconstitutional nonsense challenging the federal government, which they have absolutely no control over. Are they going to stop Obama on guns and refugees like they stopped him on gay marriage? How much longer are they going to continue wasting taxpayer dollars on unconstitutional legislation? How much taxpayer money are they going to waste fighting President Obama when he’s not even going to be in the White House a year from now? This agenda is very vanilla. It’s big on talk and short on substance. There’s just no meat on that bone.”
Here is a selection of pre-filed bills:
- Fetal Heartbeat bill – bans abortions if a heartbeat is detected. (SB9 & HB21). Yes, this same legislation has been struck down by federal appellate courts, and SCOTUS refused to review the case, but what the heck? We have unlimited money in Alabama to pay for stupid lawsuits.
- Article V Act (SB10) calling for a Constitutional convention. Not the constitution we need to reform – Alabama’s – but the federal Constitution.
- Relaxing firearms possession laws (SB14) – Why yes, what we need in Alabama is more angry, unstable people with guns in their cars and in their pockets.
- Protect Confederate monuments (SB6). It’s the second time around for this ditty. It would prohibit removing, altering, or disturbing monuments or markers placed to commemorate historical events.
- Make union organizing more difficult. (HB37) Alabama is a right to
firework, but not enough of one, apparently, so we have to amend the constitution just to make sure that the Volkswagen disease doesn’t waft down from Chattanooga and infect Alabama workers. This one already has a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 9am!
- Take your gun to college! (HB12). Allows for concealed carry of firearms on college campuses. Because nothing says safety like a group of drunken frat brothers turning the Quad into the OK Corral.
- Send more education money to the general fund. (SB16) This didn’t fly last session, but why not try it again?
Note that Senator Gerald Allen seems to be trying to win some “bad legislation” award. He’s the main sponsor of all the Senate bills listed except SB16. Maybe the prize is a giant unicorn horn he can wear on the Senate floor.
The loser? That’s the people of Alabama who wait in vain for tax reform, local control, health care, bridges that don’t collapse, and public schools that work. Meanwhile, our legislators waste time and money fighting, Obama and a group of refugees who don’t even live here.