Despite a growing opposition to the 3-week continuing resolution, all six Alabama House Republicans voted Yes. 54 Republicans voted against the CR. Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued the following statement explaining his opposition:
“Americans sent us here to deal with big problems in bold ways. We’re borrowing billions of dollars a day, yet Senate Democrats have done little more than wring their hands for the last month. With the federal government facing record deficits and a mammoth debt hanging over our economy and our future, we must do more than cut spending in bite-sized pieces.
“Democrats control both the Senate and the White House, and it’s time they stopped dithering. We need swift action to deal with spending for the rest of this year. We need to stop sending taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, and we need to defund ObamaCare. And we need to start tackling next year’s budget, the debt-ceiling, and other challenges standing in the way of job creation. We’ve made some solid first downs on spending. Now it’s time to look to the end zone.”
I’m hearing reports from multiple sources who say the DROP bill will be on the Governor’s desk by Thursday of this week. The Governor’s proposed budget hinges on the elimination of the DROP program to avoid layoffs. For a good review of what the DROP program is and why it needs to be repealed, check out this fact sheet from the ALGOP. The Alabama Policy Institute also has a good comprehensive study on the program.
The Alabama legislature gaveled in at 12 noon on March 1, 2011 with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. It was a very busy week that followed as the GOP is moving legislation quickly through committee. Here are some of the key pieces of legislation that came out of committee this week:
HB57–Rep. Greg Canfield’s Rolling Reserve Budget Act will change the budgeting process for the Education Trust Fund to cap spending at a 15-year rolling average.
HB59–Rep. Barry Mask’s legislation to eliminate the state’s Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)
HB64–Rep. Kurt Wallace’s constitutional amendment that protects the right to a secret ballot in employee representation.
HB61–Rep. April Weaver’s bill to allow businesses to deduct 200% of the amount they pay in health insurance premiums on their state income tax.