Shelby County Legislation in the 2015 Regular Session

By Cam Ward & Slade Blackwell & Jabo Waggoner & Jim McClendon

They say all politics is local, and in Alabama, the adage rings true.

As part of the 1901 Alabama Constitution, counties and municipalities have to petition the legislature to make many changes affecting their operations. That means of the more than 1,000 bills introduced each year many only have local application, including various constitutional amendments.

During the 2015 Regular Session that concluded on June 4, thirteen bills were introduced that dealt specifically with Shelby County or the municipalities within. Eight passed.

One of those passed by the Senate and House and signed by the Governor was HB502 that creates the position of “major” within the Shelby County Sheriff’s office. Two majors will be appointed by the sheriff and serve in a non-merit position. The rank of major will now be the highest rank beneath sheriff and chief deputy.

Another important bill to Shelby County (HB301) empowers the Hoover and Vestavia Hills city councils to create entertainment districts. The concept has been used in Montgomery, Huntsville, Decatur, and elsewhere to attract more people to a certain retail area, which would benefit locally-owned restaurants and stores.

In an effort to create a more streamlined approach to governing, we also passed HB193. The constitutional amendment gives Shelby County – and other counties in the state – the ability to handle personnel policies, community, transportation, emergency assistance programs, operation of county offices, elections, and polling places, without coming to the legislature for approval.

One of the most interesting pieces of legislation that affects Shelby County was SB240, which moves the presidential primary date to March 1, 2016. Alabama now joins 11 other states, like Texas, Virginia, and Georgia, by holding its election on the new “Super Tuesday.” It is our hope that this shift will draw more presidential candidates to the state so Alabamians can meet, greet, and know those who desire to occupy the White House.

So as you can see, a lot goes on in Montgomery that affects Shelby County besides the few “headline-grabbers” you see on the front page.

If there is anything we can do for you, please contact the Shelby County Legislative Delegation Office by calling (205) 620-6610 or by visiting www.shelbylegislators.com. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Alabama State Senate.