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Alabama Legislature heads into Day 29

The Alabama Legislature is rapidly running out of time in the 2024 Regular Legislative Session, The House of Representatives gaveled in on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 2:00 p.m. The House finished its work at approximately at 5:30 p.m. and the Senate adjourned at 7:00 p.m.

The House passed several Senate bills and then left for the day abruptly. Things were much rougher in the Senate where Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) was filibustering House bills because a conference committee killed his farm center bill.

"I hope that you don't have any House bills that are important to you because they aren't going anywhere today or tonight," Shellnut said. "As far as I am concerned, we should just pass the budget and go home."

Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) confronted Shelnutt, "I think your being selfish."

Three noncontroversial House bills passed in the Senate in over two hours of work and Shelnutt said that there won't be any more unless his Ag exhibition bill is brought back.

The general fund budget has already passed; but the education budget still has to pass in the same format from both Houses.

The House will convene at 10:00 am on Wednesday for day 29 of the legislative session. The Senate will convene at 10:30 am.

A regular legislative session is limited to just 30 days in a regular session.

When the Senate adjourned, on Monday night they went into a meeting of the Republican Caucus.

Another item for discussion for Senate Republicans is the gambling bill that appeared to die in the Senate a week ago. The Poarch Creek Band of Indians (PCI) say that there is nothing in the bill for them and there is even talk that they may sue if the controversial third version of the gambling bill were to pass and be ratified by the voters. Medical marijuana has been stalled for months in the Alabama court system and sources say that this failed gambling legislation could be a similar debacle if the Legislature forces it through without a consensus even among the gambling interests. Polls show that the public supports a lottery; but opposes casino gambling expansion in the state.

Legislation that would increase the number of integrated cannabis facilities, despite support from both Houses also appears to be dead in this session. Marijuana lobbyists are trying to desperately to revive the stalled legislation, but members have told the Alabama Gazette that the Legislature may just leave the matter for the courts to decide. The Legislature passed a medical cannabis bill in 2021, but it is unlikely now that anyone will be able to legally purchase medical cannabis before Halloween - if then.

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