This year’s classic example is the way House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has held up a popular bill that would allow the creation of low-cost spay/neuter clinics. This bill would lower costs to taxpayers — who fund animal shelters — reduce the dog and cat population and create competition (which is what all good capitalists want). But a few veterinarians got the speaker to sit on the plan, so it likely will not get back to the floor for a vote.
So much for what the people want.
At the same time, Alabama legislators have a long history of asking the people to vote on something they are too timid to vote for themselves.
And, yes, this year we have an example of this, as well.
In the fight between the House and Senate over whether to fully fund Medicaid — and where the money will come from — senators led by Minority Leader Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, are pushing to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow the money to cover Medicaid to be taken from an gas-and-oil revenue savings account and from education funds.
Previously, Gov. Robert Bentley proposed a similar shift from education to the General Fund and was roundly rebuffed. The difference here is that under Bedford’s plan, it will be the people, not the state Legislature, who will decide.
Kick the can down the road.
Is the Alabama Legislature so completely out of ideas that this is the best it can do?
And the people are being asked to do the work legislators are elected to do.
It’s politics as usual in the Heart of Dixie.