AL bill aimed at Senate special election elimination passes in house

The Alabama House of Representatives only passed one statewide bill Tuesday. The bill would do away with special elections for the U.S. Senate.

The bill would allow a governor's appointment to the U.S. Senate to last until the next general election.

The bill passed largely along party lines.

Bill sponsor, Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark said the bill would save money in the event a special election is forced to occur again. Clouse said last year's election cost the state $11 million.

Democrats were vocally against the bill. Some called the bill a response to Doug Jones' victory in last month's special election.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said the bill would put too much power in the governor's hands. Allowing the individual to select one of the most powerful people in the world for multiple years.

England expressed concern the longer timeline could lead to the appointee having the advantages an incumbent normally has in races.

Clouse said he did not file the bill in response to Doug Jones' victory. Clouse said he started working on the bill before either party nominee was known. Clouse is the house general fund budget chair.

The bill will now head to the Senate.

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