Cartoon by API Public Affairs Officer, Scott Stantis.
Birmingham, Ala. – Today, February 22nd, 2021, the Alabama Policy Institute (API) responded to the recent aspersions cast on the members of the Alabama House and Senate by Governor Kay Ivey. In a recent interview on APTV’s Capitol Journal, Governor Ivey voiced her lack of support for two bills currently making their way through the legislative process. The bills in question, SB97 (Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn) and HB21 (Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden), would require legislative input on extended proclamations related to states of emergency and allow for the legislature to call itself into special session on behalf of the people. In dismissing the need for such bills, Governor Ivey likened herself to legendary Coach Nick Saban while referring to the legislature as her assistant coaches, and then further derisively referred to the 105 members of the Alabama legislature by stating, “you don’t need a herd of turtles gathering to make an emergency decision.”
“For the governor to so cavalierly dismiss the legislative branch of government in that way is a step too far,” former State Senator and API Chief Policy Officer Phil Williams said. “For a year she has had sole reign in Montgomery to shut down businesses, extend legislation that was not hers to extend, and spend CARES Act funds on government instead of the private sector. The power to call the legislature into special session was vested in her office, but she chose not to do so. Now we know that it was because she does not deem them as necessary to the processes of governance.”
The two bills in question are currently going through the legislative committee process in their respective houses and, if passed by the House and Senate, would then require Governor Ivey’s signature.
“The comments just made by the governor cast doubt upon her willingness to even sign these two significant pieces of legislation,” Caleb Crosby, API President and CEO said. “The people of this great state need to know that their own voices are being heard in the halls of government during this pandemic. The most likely way for that to occur is for their senators and representatives to be given a voice in the matter. These statements by the governor are exactly the reason why API has been calling for a rebalancing of the balance of power for the past year.”