Big Issues Ahead In 2014 Legislative Session

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By Josh Ninke

Lawmakers are already working on bills they want to present in the 2014 session.

State Representative Joe Hubbard of Montgomery says there are a few timely bills he knows that have already been filed, like a bill to allow same sex marriage from the state's only openly gay lawmaker. 

"Patricia Todd has filed a bill with respect to same sex marriage I believe. Merika Coleman has filed a bill I believe seeking to repeal the stand your ground law in response to the Trayvon Martin case," said Rep. Hubbard. 
 
State Senator Dick Brewbaker of Montgomery says he expects a lot of education bills to come from the senate floor this session, including common core standards for schools.
 
Some lawmakers tried to remove the standards last year because they were concerned about the federal government having control of Alabama's schools. 
 
"Senator Beason is going to bring a common core repeal back to the legislature which will be extremely controversial as it has been in the past. I intend to support that legislation," said Sen. Brewbaker. 
 
But both men say one large issue that comes around every year will be particularly tough, managing the state budget with a growing medicaid problem. 
 
"I'm sure the legislature will continue to wrestle with how the state should respond to the affordable healthcare act. The governor, so far we are not participating as a state, I think generally the legislature supports the governor in this. But at the same time we have very large medicare and medicaid difficulties," said Sen. Brewbaker. 
 
"So we'll see whether those financial problems from medicaid will manifest themselves in this next budget. If so, we've already borrowed $437 million out of a trust fund," said Rep. Hubbard.  
 
Senator Brewbaker says that if there are any issues you would like your state lawmakers to tackle this year, now is the perfect time to reach out to them and have your voice heard. 

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Jonathan said on Tuesday, Nov 19 at 8:30 PM

I believe that HB 2 and HB550 should be reopened. Medical or legalized marijuana should be a choice, as well as gay marriage. These are straw man arguments, and are inevitably going to take effect on a global scale. Marijuana should be an option, regardless of who opposes it. Marriage, according to the state, is a union of two people and has been around before Christianity began.

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