2014 has been a quiet year for the Alabama Legislature down in Montgomery. Even though not much controversial is coming out of Goat Hill, there are a couple of bills that I want to talk about. These are bills I want to see either passed or avoided.
HB 141 – The Spay/Neuter Clinic Protection Bill
This bill to keep the low-cost spay and neuter clinics open passed a major hurdle this week when the bill passed the Senate Health Committee by a 8-4 vote. One of the members that voted no was Sen. Gerald Dial from Clay County, I thought you knew about the huge animal abandonment problem in Alabama? By the way, thank you Sen. Del Marsh for voting yes! So now, the bill will go to the Senate floor, and if it passes there, it goes to the governor, where he will sign it, I hope.
The problem about the Alabama Senate, is there are some members who will do anything possible to make sure this bill does not pass. Sen. Paul Bussman from Cullman, has taken money from several veterinarians and members from the Alabama Veterinary Practice Owners Association to force the four low-cost spay and neuter clinics to close. Is Sen. Bussman also opposed to ending gas chambers and animals being killed off because of the severe overpopulation problem? Here are the facts, Alabama has a huge animal overpopulation problem. These four low-cost spay and neuter clinics must stay open! Being the animal lover that I am, it sickens me to see some legislators who wants to do anything to be greedy.
Over 100,000 animals are put down each year in Alabama simply because there are too many of them. There should be no filibusters, harsh amendments, or other methods to kill this smart bill for Alabama. Everyone needs to contact their state Senators and tell them to vote yes on HB 141, Alabama does not need to be known as the state that ignores their pets and animals, that would be bad for our state image. Hopefully Sen Del Marsh, who knows about Geek Alabama, will force HB 141 down onto the floor for a yes or no vote! Look at this image of me and a dog and cat below, do you care about them?
SB 174 – Carly’s Law
Marijuana or cannabis, is becoming more open in our society. Some states like Colorado and Washington have now legalized the plant, and as you can see, the states are seeing record tax revenues. In Alabama, all forms of marijuana are still illegal, but for how long, just like the gay marriage debate, I think Alabama will soon allow the recreational use of marijuana, but right now, some people must have cannabis to stay healthy! Several children in Alabama suffers from severe neurological disorders and seizures. And they must have a form of cannabis to stay healthy and survive.
The bill would legalize in Alabama an oil derived from marijuana, cannabidiol, that is believed to help some children with seizure disorders. That’s it! There is no legalization of marijuana or pot for general use. This bill only allows the ones who suffer to get the treatment they need, it’s like a prescription drug. For children who uses cannabidiol medication to treat neurological disorders like epilepsy and seizures, they are going months without any problems! But in Alabama, cannabidiol medication is illegal, and for some families. They are going to other states such as Colorado so their kids can have the treatment they need.
Some politicians are afraid of voting yes to Carly’s Law because of re-election. Seriously, you think opponents are going to attack you because you voted yes for a form of marijuana to help kids that has no street value? This is a basic human rights issue! I hope the Alabama Legislature will have the smarts to vote yes on SB 174! Learn more about the fight for Carly’s Law at: https://www.facebook.com/carlyslaw
SB 443 – Common Core Opt-Out Provision
Sen. Scott Beason is trying to do anything possible to kill the Common Core curriculum for math and English in Alabama. The Alabama College and Career Ready Standards are helping many students get ready for the real world after they graduate from high school. Instead, some Tea Partiers and right-wing people are doing anything possible to dumb down Alabama. The standards are endorsed by many businesses, education groups, and civic organizations in the state. Before the standards for math and English took effect in 2010, 28% of students graduating from high school were not prepared for math and English in college. That’s from the American Diploma Project.
Now, since Scott Beason is tired of seeing every attempt to derail the progress in Alabama fail by killing off the Common Core standards. Beason wants to change how Alabama chooses their state superintendent by letting the people vote for the state superintendent. Currently, Tommy Bice from Alexander City is the state superintendent, and full disclosure, Tommy Bice knows me Nathan Young very well and I think he is doing a great job making schools in Alabama better! I don’t think changing the way Alabama picks a state superintendent is going to derail the progress in our schools by making our standards dumber. Unless we have misinformed people in Alabama, which I am afraid our state has.
SB 443 would create a chaotic patchwork of education standards and derail the state school system’s school accountability programs. If a child moves to a different school system in Alabama with different standards, it is going to mess them up. SB 443 is just a disguise to end the progress in Alabama schools. If this bill passes, I will feel bad for the members of the local school boards, as they are going to be bombarded with calls, letters, and e-mails telling them to end Common Core standards, and make our kids dumber. Do these Tea Party people have anything better to do?