Alabama House to debate bill overseeing executive branch contracts

Proposed bill creates committee on state contracts exceeding $10M

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State lawmakers are proposing a bill to better monitor how state agencies spend millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Alabama House is scheduled to debate a bill by Rep. Mike Jones, R-Andalusia, that would provide the legislature with more oversight on executive branch contracts, leases, and agreements exceeding $10 million.

“As a sense of good policy and good government,” said Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. “This is not an attack on the governor. It’s not an attack on any person.”

The proposal is in response to the Governor signing lease agreements to build new prisons costing about $3 billion. State lawmakers were not allowed to view the agreements prior to signing them. The governor’s office has said large projects like these need to stay confidential as negotiations continued.

State lawmakers were not happy they were left out of the negotiations.

The proposal would create an oversight committee made up the chair and vice chair of the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee, the chair and vice chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, and the ranking minority members of both committees.

McCutcheon said the proposal will only apply to future large agreements and contracts that state agencies and departments may work on, not the governor’s current prison project.

If the committee does not object to a proposal within 45 days of an agreement being submitted, it will be deemed approved. However, if it is disapproved, the agreement will remain suspended until final adjournment of the next regular session.

WSFA 12 News reached out to the governor’s office for a comment but did not receive one.

Lawmakers plan to debate the bill Tuesday on the House floor.

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