Legislators May Adjourn Special Session, Alabama Drought Conditions

Jul 10, 2015

Alabama State Capitol

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is calling legislators into a special session Monday to hammer out a General Fund Budget, but legislators may have other plans.

An e-mail sent from House Speaker Mike Hubbard to members of the House of Representatives hints at plans to circumvent the session. The e-mail describes a plan put forth by Speaker Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh to convene the legislature as asked on Monday, then immediately adjourn until August 3rd.

The adjournment is significant because while the legislature is adjourned, the 30-day clock on the special session keeps ticking. If the congress were to reconvene August 3rd, they would only have a week remaining in the session.

Marsh says legislators will use the additional three weeks of recess to study various budget proposals and work on possible solutions to the state’s budget problem.

In June, Governor Bentley vetoed a General Fund budget passed by legislators that would have cut spending by $200 million, or 11% compared to this year.

Much of Alabama is under drought-like conditions. APR’s Pat Duggins reports, there are new signs from the State that things may get worse before they get better in the wiregrass region.

The Geological Survey of Alabama keeps track of rainfall and the well water Alabama peanut farmers use for this year’s crop. A new report says 2015’s spring rainfall that normally fills up the groundwater supply was only half as big compared to the spring of 2014.

Marlon Cook directs the survey’s effort to find new underground water sources. He says he wants to be optimistic, but less spring rain could mean trouble.

“For the fall, things that dependent on plentiful rainfall, there could be a concern for the fall and into the next spring.”

Alabama’s peanut harvest normally happens in September and October. Parts of the state already are up to three inches behind on rainfall.

Legendary Alabama and NFL quarterback Ken Stabler died recently as a result of complications from colon cancer. He was 69 years old.

During his college career, the Foley, Alabama native led the Crimson Tide through an undefeated season in 1966, capped off with a 34-7 win over Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl where he was named MVP.

Stabler was drafted to the NFL in 1968 by the Oakland Raiders and spent ten seasons there. He made four pro bowl appearances during that time and also appeared on the New Orleans Saints’ and Houston Oilers’ rosters. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1974.

After his playing days were done, Stabler worked as a broadcast commentator and analyst, first for CBS NFL telecasts, and then alongside Eli Gold on the Crimson Tide radio network.

Stabler was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in February of this year. He donated his brain and spinal cord to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center to support research into degenerative brain disease among athletes.