HB9 Update

Among the legislative casualties left in the wake of the Alabama Accountability Act was the House version of the homebrewing bill.

Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Capshaw, the bill’s sponsor, said Monday afternoon that HB9 was knocked off the special order calendar because business in the House has been ground to a halt by Democrats upset about the way the Accountability Act was rammed through the Legislature.

Democrats have been using delaying tactics such as demanding that bills be read at length to express their outrage, slowing the legislative process to a crawl.

The special order calendar is the agenda used by the House to designate which bills will be considered on the floor. No spot on the special order calendar, no vote.

McCutcheon said that the homebrewing bill had been on the special order calendar but was removed along with many others when the Democrats began their protest.

“There’s no sense in putting 15 bills on the special order calendar when you would only get to 1 at best in a day,” he said.

House Republicans could use their overwhelming majority to cut off Democrats by way of a cloture vote. However, the culture of the House views cutting off debate as a last resort, something to be used only when there is no other choice.

“Anytime you make a cloture vote you are shutting down the process and denying the opposition the opportunity to have their voice heard,” McCutcheon said.

The prognosis for the home brewing bill is not too grim. If the Legislative process resumes its normal pace, the bill could find its way back onto the special order calendar and up for a vote.

McCutcheon chairs the committee that chooses which bills make the agenda. He said that he’s optimistic that homebrewers will have their day and the bill will come to a vote.



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