Lengthy to-do list as clock ticks down for AL legislative session

Updated: Apr. 21, 2017 at 1:31 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The clock is ticking for Alabama lawmakers. With about a month left in the legislative session, there are still a lot of issues left to go over.

Arguably, some of what still needs to be addressed are the four most important issues the state faced before the session began: The two budgets, redistricting and prisons.

The issues with budgets and redistricting are going to be a priority for lawmakers. The education budget is expected to be discussed in a house committee next week, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said.

Prisons though are another issue altogether.

"Right now, that prison issue is something that we are working right now but I can just say we've got a lot more work to do," Mac McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon says lawmakers are not totally unified on any particular version of the prison bill. There are several discussions going on including helping with the rehabilitation of inmates, maximum security issues, the man power it takes to run a facility and more.

The only things lawmakers can agree on is the need to do something. Time is running out, however, to the point where lawmakers cannot really afford any more setbacks.

"The clock is ticking," McCutcheon said. "When you look at those three issues, we were just going over the calendar, I'm sure we are going to have some three-day weeks going into may. When we look at those issues we've still got a lot of work to do."

On a more encouraging note, McCutcheon, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, Governor Kay Ivey are expected to meet the first of the week to make sure lines of communication are open.

If lawmakers cannot finish their work before the session ends, it would be up to the governor to call a special session.

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