Only one day — next Monday — remains in the 2013 regular session. It will not be a day for the faint of heart: More than 100 bills that affect only one city or county remain undecided, the Associated Press reports. The Star’s Tim Lockette, in a story in Sunday’s paper, detailed a list of local bills — including Weaver’s Sunday sales bill — that are among those in line for last-minute attention.
If they get it, that is.
This spring has shown Alabamians nearly all of the negative sides of their state Legislature. It’s one-party format has allowed Republican kingmakers to, in essence, do as they please when they please. The rushed, dead-of-night passage of the Alabama Accountability Act serves as proof.
Additionally, immature behavior on both sides of the aisle has slowed legitimate business to a frustrating crawl. Call it the convergence of bad traits — slow-footed bills, sophomoric attitudes by Republicans and Democrats, and time wasted on bills that are neither timely nor pressing for modern-day Alabama.
The result is next Monday’s train wreck. It could be an unmitigated disaster.
Alabamians should judge next Monday for what it is: A byproduct of a dysfunctional Legislature. We have to assume that there will be a long list of bills important to communities — such as Weaver’s — that will not get the attention they deserve because the clock will run out on the 2013 session.
Granted, this isn’t the first Alabama Legislature to waste an abundance of time on unnecessary matters and cause a manic rush to the final day’s gavel. We’ve seen it before.
That doesn’t mean it’s either acceptable or an example of good government.
In recent years, Alabama’s Legislature can be criticized for all sorts of actions. Its faults, under leadership of both parties, have been well documented. This year, 29 days of wasted opportunities can’t be solved in one day.