Block on local bills lifted; Anniston Sunday sales bill can move forward
by Tim Lockette
tlockette@annistonstar.com
Apr 11, 2013 | 6447 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTGOMERY — State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, said Wednesday night that he plans to lift his block on local bills in the House of Representatives — a move that could bring new life to Anniston's Sunday alcohol sales bill.

Morrow has been challenging all local legislation in the House ever since the Legislature failed to overturn Gov. Robert Bentley's veto of a bill he had sponsored, which would have permitted Franklin County to allow armed volunteers to provide school security.

Morrow's challenge blocked the movement of all local bills through the House. That included the Anniston Ecotourism Beverage Bill, a measure that would allow the Anniston City Council to approve Sunday alcohol sales.

The Anniston bill passed the Senate easily, but ran into trouble in the House due to opposition from some Calhoun County lawmakers. A House committee trumped those lawmakers last week, moving the bill out of committee and giving it a spot on the House calendar.

Morrow's block had kept the bill from moving forward. But Morrow told reporters late Wednesday that he'd reached an agreement with House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, to let his Franklin County bill move again through the House if Morrow lifts his block on other local legislation.

"Local courtesy goes both ways," Morrow said.

Democratic leaders in the House announced last month that they'd also block all local legislation, but Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said that block was lifted as well.

Still, Rep. Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston, said she wasn't ready to speculate about the fate of the Anniston Sunday sales bill. Boyd sponsored the House version of the bill.

"Let's just wait and see," she said.

Capitol and statewide reporter: 256-294-4913. On Twitter: @TLockette_Star.
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