The GOP from top to bottom now has permission from Mike Hubbard to suggest revisions to HB56, the Alabama Anti-immigrant law. Irrespective of opinion on HB56, one thing has certainly been shown by this whole debacle: legislators and the public need time to read and study proposed bills before before a vote.
We learned how rushed HB56 was from Sen. Gerald Dial:
Sen. Gerald Dial, a Republican from Lineville, said, in comments to Centre, Ala.’s The Post on Nov. 16, that he got the immigration bill with just hours left in the legislative session and voted for it so as not to appear weak on immigration.
And Democrat Senator Marc Keahey (who voted for the bill too.)
Sen. Marc Keahey, D-Grove Hill, said the bill was rushed through the House and Senate because Republicans had the strength.
“This is a prime example of how a bill of this magnitude gets messed up when you only allow (Sen.) Scott Beason to read the bill,” Keahey said.
(Ignorance of the final version is no excuse for voting in its favor because the basic tenor and contents of HB56 was present in the pre-conference House and Senate versions.)
In the future, both the House and Senate should enact a 72 hour rule: every bill will be posted online for at least 72 hours before it is presented for final vote. (Amendments for 24 hours)