Looking Ahead To 2014 Legislature

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By Alabama News Network

We're less than one month away from the 2014 legislative session.

 
Governor Robert Bentley hopes lawmakers will focus on balancing the budget, which is legally the only the that they have to do.
 
With this being an election year, some are expecting a quick and easy session here at the State House. But others would like to focus on more than just passing budgets.
 
Just because lawmakers aren't in session yet doesn't mean they aren't already working on the issues that we'll be seeing next year. 
 
Governor Bentley has been working closely with the State House to make sure that they have a responsible budget this year, which the state has to balance every year.
 
"I think the budgets should be always should be our number one priority and to make sure that they're done correctly, they're done openly, they're done transparently. Unfortunately to make sure we have enough money in our general fund," said Gov. Bentley. 
 
But even though it's an election year, where many politicians try to avoid any controversial topics, State Representative Joe Hubbard wants to dig in to issues like education.
 
"I mean we have some serious issues at stake right now. And to say that we're just going to come in, pass the budgets and go home so we can start campaigning and raising money and putting up yard signs? To me that should not be our priority," said Rep. Hubbard.
 
And he's not alone. Fellow democratic representative Alvin Holmes has been in the state house for almost 40 years. He doesn't plan on letting lawmakers leave without discussing a few hot button issues. 
 
"But I'm going to try to keep them there and make them vote on some of these controversial bills so that when they go home during an election year they will be able to face the people back home and stand up and tell them the truth," said Rep. Holmes.
 
Both Hubbard and Holmes want to pass a bill to keep lawmakers from taking high paying lobbying jobs right after they leave office. Republican lawmakers have included that bill on their agenda as well. 
 
The 2014 session officially kicks off on January 14.

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