Legislative Ability to Call Itself Into Session

Currently, the Alabama legislature can only act in the predetermined session dates during the first half of the calendar year or when the governor calls a special session. This is a massive imbalance in the balance of power. 36 state legislatures can call a special session on their own without the governor’s approval. The legislature should pass a constitutional amendment allowing lawmakers the ability to call themselves into special session at any time. Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana are included in the aforementioned 36. • Florida – 1) Upon the filing with the Department of State of a joint proclamation by the president of the Senate and speaker of the House or 2) if three-fifths of the members of both houses respond affirmatively to a poll by the Department of State—the poll being initiated by certificates from 20 percent of the members of the legislature.

  • Georgia – Upon presentation to the governor of a petition signed by three-fifths of the members of each house, with a copy to the secretary of state.
  • Louisiana – By written petition of a majority of the members elected to each house to the presiding officers of both houses.
  • Tennessee – By the presiding officers of both houses, upon written request of two-thirds of the members of each chamber.

Legislature Should Be Empowered to Approve or Reject Prolonged States of Emergency.

Currently, Alabama’s governor has the power to declare states of emergency for up to sixty days.These states of emergency, however, may be renewed as many times as the governor sees fit, creating the possibility of never-ending states of emergencies under the direction of one individual. The Alabama legislature needs to be involved in this process.