The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 21, 2013

Alabama legislators' view of session depends on party


Associated Press

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The description of the Legislature's 2013 session depends on a legislator's party label.

The Senate's Republican leader, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, of Anniston called it the best session since Republicans gained a majority in the 2010 election. Republicans passed the Alabama Accountability Act, loosened restrictions on guns, started the consolidation of state law enforcement agencies, and kept a promise to commit to the repayment of money removed for the Alabama Trust Fund.

The Senate's Democratic minority leader, Vivian Davis Figures, called it the worst session of her legislative career. Democrats failed to pass their top priority, which was expanding the state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Marsh said the Republican majority is opposed to enlarging the role of government.

The session ended at midnight Monday.