Commission Examines State Constitution
The Constitutional Revision Commission, made up of lawmakers, governors, and other officials, decides what constitutional issues will make it to the floor of the State House. Some of the changes are simple, but others could mean a lot for the state.
The commission looked at where the governor and other state officials are required to live. The possible change would only make the governor live in Montgomery, allowing everyone else to commute from anywhere in the state. State Senator Quinton Ross is worried about the change.
"I was concerned that we constitutionally elected officials who don't have to reside in the capital city so that was kind of concerning to me. Particularly we want alabamians to understand that once you get elected to what we consider the highest offices in the state you are responsible, you live in the seat of the government, you are showing up for work every day," said Sen. Ross.
Another change they looked at was making it harder for lawmakers to override the governor's veto. Alabama is one of only five states that require a simple majority. The commission debated making it a 3/5 majority, but decided against it. The governor had even suggested holding off on the vote until 2018 so it wouldn't affect him.
"Well I actually believe in checks and balances in government. Now we do have a strong governor's office and I do have a lot of authority. This wouldn't even affect me even if I'm reelected. That's why I took myself out of it completely," said Governor Robert Bentley.
They also decided today to change the requirements for attorney general. They're suggesting that you have to actually be a lawyer to get the job.
"Of course I wasn't around when they made the decision that the attorney general didn't have to have a law degree. But of course understand that it's the highest ranking lawyer in the state. And they represent the state in a lot of different types of litigation," said commission member Sen. Ross.
Current Attorney General Luther Strange earned his law degree from Tulane University.
None of these changes are law by a long stretch yet. They still need to be voted on by the legislature and then the people.