Alabama Lawmakers Detour From Budget to Gay Marriage

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation to take the state out of the marriage business in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday voted for a bill to do away with state-issued marriage licenses. Instead, couples would bring in a signed marriage contract and file it with the probate office.

The change would prevent probate judges who oppose same-sex marriage from having to sign licenses for gay couples. A few Alabama counties have shut down marriage license operations altogether rather than issue licenses to gay couples.

Senators passed the bill last week.

Legislators could approve the bill this week. However, it requires a two-thirds vote to pass because it’s outside the governor’s call for the special session focused on budget measures.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers are resuming budget talks after a late-night meeting failed to get an agreement.

A conference committee will meet Tuesday morning to resume negotiations on a proposal to shift education funds to the cash-strapped general fund budget.

The committee met Monday night for over an hour but could not reach an agreement. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh described the talks as productive but fragile.

Senators want to shift $100 million from education funds. House members want to move a lesser amount.

The Alabama Senate could also vote Tuesday on a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax.

Lawmakers are trying to break a deadlock on how to handle a $200 million budget shortfall. Legislators must get a budget in place by Oct. 1 or state agencies will be without money to operate.

Categories: Local News, Regional News

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