Senate session ends on sour note

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 9, 2007

Republican Sen. Charles Bishop of Jasper punched Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe in the head after Barron reportedly called him a “son of a bitch,” according to the Associated Press.

While Bishop later admitted he shouldn’t have punched Barron, the incident indicates the tension that has been growing during this session.

For much of this session, senators were at a stand-off, with only five bills being passed, and essentially, none of the people’s business being conducted in their chamber.

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Mind you, this political posturing is being exercised on the taxpayer’s dime.

Two weeks ago, Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., called for a roll call vote so that the body could get past the standstill and approve some bills.

The AP reported that on Thursday, the last day of the session, the Senate passed a couple of local bills, including one that will bring a Branson, Mo., style tourist attraction to Coffee County.

They also gave final approval to a bill to expand the definition of lobbyist within the state ethics law to include anyone who attempts to influence contracts for the purchase or lease of supplies, services or materials that are not competitively bid. It will go to the governor.

And they gave final approval to a bill to establish a distinctive motorcycle tag for the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Hurray for them!

They finally approved the budget, with a $1 million line item veto by the governor.

Maybe our elected officials feel a sense of satisfaction in passing what they did get through. It just doesn’t seem much was accomplished to help the average Alabama citizen, most of whom are tired of such antics.