Legislative chaos as General fund, reapportionment both pass

Updated: May. 4, 2017 at 9:54 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A long day for lawmakers in both chambers ended late Thursday night with the general fund budget and a reapportionment plan both passing out of the senate.

However, strong debate ensued and both bills were forced to be read out loud, stretching out an already long process.

Lawmakers are allowed to call for any bill to be read at length. The reapportionment bill was more than 260 pages, and the general fund was 107 pages.

Both bills were partially read aloud for hours before it was stopped.

Tempers really flew over the state budget, and over a bill dealing with $600,000 of the more than $1 billion budget.

An amendment proposed by Senator Phil Williams would have transferred $300,000 each from two tourism projects to the VA. Senator Rodger Smitherman, after losing the reapportionment battle over Jefferson County, fought back against the bill which would take money from Birmingham projects. At the end, Smitherman and Williams were in a screaming match.

The amendment failed to pass, leading to another senator, Paul Sanford, asking for the budget to be read at length.

Both reapportionment and the general fund budget passed and will head down to the house for the next step.

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