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Last updated 5:28PM ET
March 8, 2021
Governor Considers Calling A Special Session
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Alabama legislators could find themselves back in Montgomery sometime before Thanksgiving.

Gov. Bob Riley said Monday he is considering calling a special session sometime in the fall for lawmakers to consider legislation to help Gulf Coast residents who suffered damage in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and have been unable to collect on insurance claims.

Riley said he also wants to ask lawmakers to consider adopting a law that would switch Alabama's property tax reappraisals from annually to once every four years a proposal that was introduced during this year's regular session, but was never debated on the floor of the House or Senate.

Riley made the comments to reporters following a ceremony at the Capitol Monday inducting four new members into the Alabama Academy of Honor.

Riley said he would also likely include in a call for a special session a package of ethics legislation that he has included in his proposals to the Legislature every year since he has been governor. He said the key bill is a proposal to ban the process of transferring campaign contributions from one political action committee to another, a practice critics say allows candidates to hide the source of their money.

"Everyone has agreed on that," said Riley, a Republican, of the proposal that was endorsed by Democratic and Republican leaders before the start of this year's session. The PAC to PAC ban passed the House unanimously early in the session, but died in the Senate without coming up for a vote on the floor on the final night.

The bill died partly because of a fight over Senate rules that stalled action in the upper chamber for most of the session. A coalition of Republicans and a few Democrats used stalling tactics to protest rules they said favored the Democratic majority.

One key lawmaker, House Speaker Seth Hammett, D-Andalusia, said it would be unwise for Riley to call a special session unless he is certain that senators have settled their feud.

"My advice would be that he first make sure the Senate will be productive before he consider a special session," Hammett said.

Concerning the issues the governor mentioned, Hammett said he has not seen any proposals from the governor to resolve the insurance problems on the Alabama coast. He said passing the PAC to PAC ban would depend on the Senate.

"We would pass it in two minutes in the House," Hammett said.

In a recent interview, Senate Majority Leader Zeb Little, D-Cullman, said speculation is that the governor will call a special session for late October after the Oct. 16 special election to fill a vacant Senate seat in Baldwin County.

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