Redistricting Expected to Reach House Floor Monday
Alabama legislators will continue special session tomorrow and many lawmakers say they have their work cut out for them this week.
When the lawmakers recessed Friday a House committee approved the House's redistricting plan. This plan redraws district lines in Alabama, but by doing so, would put incumbent democrat representatives from both Birmingham and Montgomery up against one another.
“I've tried to be an advocate for this community and that may have been a threat for some people,” said Representative Joe Hubbard, D-Montgomery.
Under the House proposed reapportionment bill, Rep. Hubbard would lose his district in Montgomery at the end of his four year term.
Hubbard says members of the delegation like Representative Jay Love, R-Montgomery, have the power to stop the proposed redistricting plan.
“All jay would have to do is to say, ‘We're going to put these neighborhoods back together because they are important to Montgomery, and we can not have Montgomery carved up more than it already is’,” Hubbard said. “And I believe that if he were to do that then those neighborhoods would be put back together, but he will not do that.”
Rep. Love was not available for comment Sunday; but Hubbard said there is a Montgomery Republican on his side to make redistricting fair in the Capital City.
“Senator (Dick) Brewbaker has indicated that he will help me as much as he can from the Senate side, but so far it’s just us two,” Hubbard said explaining the challenges in turning over the proposed bill.
Senator Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, told CBS-8 over the phone he "respects the idea of one man, one vote...making it equal in all districts." Brewbaker also said lawmakers need to keep neighborhoods and communities' interests together.
While reapportionment is important to legislators like Rep. Hubbad, it is one of six issues on the special session agenda. Hubbard feels like he and his colleagues failed to do the two things constitutionally required of them during regular session: pass the general fund budget and redistrict the state of Alabama.
“The people may be asking why we're still in session,” Hubbard said. “We're in session because we haven’t done our job.”
Monday starts day three of special session. According to the Alabama constitution, lawmakers have 5-12 days to finish their work over a 30-day period, if not, the legislature may need to enter a second special session, which could cost the state even more money. However, Rep. Hubbard says he and many of his colleagues are confident they will accomplish everything on their agenda before the 12-day deadline.
Members of the house expect the redistricting bill will reach the House floor by late Monday afternoon. If the bill passes the House, it will be sent to the Senate for a vote, and then sent to Governor Robert Bentley to sign or veto.