But that is the section of the 1901 Constitution that will be revised once a proposal pushed through the state Legislature by Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, goes to the people for a vote.
This page is not ready to endorse the alterations just yet. Like all Alabamians, we need to consider what is being changed and the consequences (intended and otherwise) of the revision.
However, why this section and not, say, the one concerning home rule, is getting the attention — and why it took six years for DeMarco’s effort to bring forth fruit — is worth noting.
Constitutional reform in Alabama was bogged down because two competing groups could not compromise on how to get it done. One group, not trusting a Legislature dominated by special-interest groups, wanted a constitutional convention.
The other group, fearing special interests would gain control of a convention, wanted to keep reform in the state Legislature.
The log-jam was broken, or at least moved, when Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, created the Constitutional Revision Commission, made former Gov. Albert Brewer the chairman and told them to get the process moving.
It is hard to say how making constitutional reform a priority helped DeMarco’s efforts, but it surely did not hurt his cause. The Legislature finally gave its approval.
Equally important in getting this done is that the sections that will be reformed — corporations and banking — are sections important to corporations and banking.
Of the many out-of-date portions of the Constitution, the provisions relating to business are the ones business interests want addressed. And in Alabama, what business wants, business usually gets.
This is nothing new. As historians have pointed out, when corporations realized that segregation was bad for business, corporations became participants in (or at least not opponents of) the civil rights movement. If this first step in constitutional reform is an indication that the business community is beginning to get behind the effort — even in a small and timid way — it is a step in the right direction.