What comes next for some of the bills that weren’t passed in the 2017 Legislative Session


Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. (Getty Images)

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) - After a Sprint to the finish line, the clock has ran out on this year's Alabama legislative session.

Several major pieces of legislation passed in the final moments of the session, including Election Redistricting and a bill to protect Confederate Monuments, but many others lost traction or support along the way.

There are several topics that didn't get passed this legislative session that are major issues that aren't going away, just because lawmakers are heading home.

Gas Tax

“There’s not a question that we need infrastructure, the question is, how are we going to pay for it," says Sam Givhan, chairman of the Madison County GOP. 

It seems like everyone can agree that Alabama needs more money for road improvements, but the path to get there is full of potholes.

“The smallest counties in the state get the same money Jefferson County gets, and that’s just not very practical," says Givhan.

Sam Givhan says the current gas tax structure hurts highly populated areas like Huntsville.

“It’s very much a Robin Hood approach," he says.

As with most tax proposals in the state of Alabama, it didn't have widespread support. Givhan believes this will come back up, especially once the federal government announces how much money they're willing to offer states for a proposed highway match program.

“And I don’t think any legislator is particularly excited about coming back for a second round of taxes there," says Givhan.

Prison Reform

Another ghost of legislative past, is what to do about Alabama's wildly overcrowded prison system.

“There’s no guarantees but one thing that would seem like almost a guarantee is to see a special session on prisons. It’s something we’re going to have to address," says Givhan.

Governor Ivey has indicated she may call a special session to lock up a deal. In the meantime, Givhan believes her office has some work to do.

“I think that is going to take some fleshing out there with a new administration coming in with a proposal everyone is comfortable with," he says.

Full Conceal Carry Gun Permit

The controversial S.B. 24 would, in part, eliminate a full conceal carry gun permit in the state.

“Criminals are going to lie or not going to follow the rules, or the mentally ill are going to lie, so why put everything go through that hurdle?” asks Givhan.

He says he understands the arguments on both sides.

“The reservation is, basically the mentally ill. They’re not worried about the average person having a concealed carry," he says.

Givhan believes while it didn't fair well this year, it will probably be back on the docket in 2018.

“I think that’s probably coming, which is my guess. Other states have it and I would imagine it would come here, that’s where the inertia is," says Givhan.


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