Nearly all Ala. House Democrats don’t show up to session for health, budget concerns

Alabama legislative session resumes

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Only one Democratic state representative showed up for the legislative session Monday afternoon.

Out of 28 democratic representatives, Rep. Rod Scott, D-Fairfield was the only one who attended.

“I believe I am the only Democrat today,” Scott said. "I decided to come today because of my constitutional responsibility to represent my constituents on the two things we are supposed to do as legislators and that is to pass the General fund and the Education budgets.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, had beforehand expressed safety and budgetary concerns. He wanted to wait longer before passing the budget to learn the effects the coronavirus will have on the state’s revenue.

“It’s not that we’re against going into session, but we believe it is fiscally irresponsible to build a budget blindly," Daniels said.

Speaker of the House Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, said they want to pass the budgets to give the education system and other agencies an idea of what to budget for.

Both House and Senate lawmakers met Tuesday to work on the budgets and pass local bills.

Nearly all state lawmakers who were present wore masks and sat in different seats to practice social distancing.

The Alabama House passed fewer than 10 local bills. The House will reconvene Tuesday at 11 a.m.

The Alabama Senate passed a $1.25 billion bond issue 29-0 that would go toward capital improvements for public schools, community colleges and other colleges. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, expressed concerns on the Senate floor for about 30 minutes. He said poorer schools may not get the money they need.

“I’m okay with the bond issue, but I’m not totally good with the formula,” Singleton said. “And the little money they get won’t be enough because the maintenance they’ve needed has gone on so long.”

Gov. Kay Ivey had proposed the bond issue in her state of the state address earlier this year. The money will be distributed based on a formula that looks at enrollment and other factors.

The Senate could pass the general fund budget as early as Tuesday.

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