Alabama Road Stimulus Bill Pulled Off Table
A bill that would have funneled as much as $100 million a year to road, bridge and railroad projects in Alabama was removed from the state Senate’s agenda on Tuesday after four days of debate. Sen. Lowell Barron (D-Fyffe) sponsored the legislation in an effort to create a state-funded stimulus bill that would whittle away at Alabama’s backlog of road and bridge projects. The money would have come from the Alabama Trust Fund, comprising about $2.6 billion in royalties from natural gas drilling off the state’s coast. Republication opponents argued the trust-fund money should remain intact. The Senate voted 20-11 for cloture, which would have stopped delaying tactics by opponents and forced a vote, but it fell one vote short of the necessary number. Barron then pulled the bill from consideration. The Senate could bring the bill up for debate later, but Barron says he has no plans to bring the bill to the floor again. The bill would have let voters decide whether to rewrite the state constitution to take money from the trust fund.