Jeffco lawmakers struggle with numbers, taking turns - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Jeffco lawmakers struggle with numbers, taking turns

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Children learn how to count and take turns. But 15 adults struggled with those skills Monday.

Members of the Jefferson County Delegation had to make one board appointment. But they decided to make two and ignore the law that requires them to alternate appointments with the Senate. They say the law has been ignored in the past and this issue can either be clarified in the statehouse or court.

Plans are being made for the gaveling in of the legislative session in February.

"We can't keep counting on stimulus dollars. We can't keep borrowing from the Education Trust Fund. We've got to bite the bullet and reform our tax code," said Representative Demetrius Newton, (D) Birmingham.

"Workforce development- Jefferson County is growing and one of the concerns we've heard is workforce development," said Representative Paul DeMarco, (R) Homewood.

On Monday, they started with a more simple issue BJCC board appointments. T

There are three vacancies. The Senate has appointed two people, so the delegation was to appoint one person. But they wanted two, which meant ignoring the requirement that the Senate and House alternate appointments.

"I don't see why- regardless of if we go to court or not because we go to court a lot in Jefferson County anyway," said Representative Oliver Robinson, (D) Birmingham.

"The decisions of the board will be upheld even if it's a bad appointment," said Representative Arthur Payne, (R) Trussville.

They proceeded with too many appointments blaming it on confusion.

"Moving forward, we'll have to settle this in the Legislature," said Representative Allen Treadaway, (R) Morris.

"It's unfortunate when it comes to power that the two bodies can't decide at certain times whose turn it is," said Representative Merika Coleman, (D) Birmingham.

"We can't count. At some point, the public wants us to stop squabbling over little issues," said Representative Jack Williams, (R) Vestavia Hills, who was the lone voice of opposition to the second appointment.

But there's questions about whether it can be done.

"We've been here 43 minutes to debate an appointment, and we can't come to the table for more than five minutes to debate Jefferson County," said Representative Juandalynn Givan, (D) Birmingham. "It's pitiful."

Even if Jefferson County legislation is introduced, one lawmaker doubts whether it can pass due to the divide between the Senate and House.

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