Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Governor Bentley Sends Amended Alabama Primary Bill Back to Legislature

On Tuesday, May 31, Governor Robert Bentley (R) returned HB 425 to the Alabama state legislature. The move is more of a speed bump along the way toward the ultimate enactment of this legislation than any major obstruction. In other words, the governor's move is not a signal of an upcoming veto. The intent of the bill is to consolidate the presidential primaries and the primaries for state and local offices on the second Tuesday in March. However, as passed, there would have been some conflicting language in the Alabama statutes as to the scheduling of the primaries. As such, the governor has offered an amendment to the bill:
Section 2. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, in any year in which the primary election is held in March and the primary election is held in conjunction with the presidential preference primary election, as provided in this Act, any reference in any existing statutes to a primary election being held in June shall be construed to refer to the primary election in March.
The House concurred with the changes called for in the executive amendment and now the state Senate will presumably have to follow suit before the bill heads back to the governor for his consideration and likely signature.

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