The first bit of energy legislation for this session has been sent to Governor Bob Riley for his signature. If Riley signs the bill, the result will be an update to the state’s residential building codes and a stronger code board.
Last week, the Alabama House adopted a bill 101-0 that would upgrade the state’s residential energy codes to comply with federal energy and building guidelines. This includes requiring the newly dubbed Alabama Energy and Residential Codes to adhere to the 2006 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code, replacing the 1993 energy policy that the codes follow currently.
The legislation would also expand the membership of the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board to 17 members. This board, which has served in an advisory capacity until now, would “exercise sole authority with respect to all matters pertaining to the acceptance, adoption, and implementation of the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes.”
The Alabama Trails Commission took another step to becoming a reality last week, as well. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), passed the Senate Government Affairs Committee 10-0 on March 2. It awaits passage by the full Senate before it goes to the governor for his signature.
Finally, last week we learned that Sen. Lowell Barron (D-Fyffe) plans to reintroduce his $1 billion for roads bill. After five days of debate in late January and early February, Barron did not have enough votes to pass the bill and removed it from consideration. Barron believes that he has the votes now and will introduce the measure again on Thursday, March 11. If, however, he doesn’t have enough support, it will be very
difficult to put the bill up a third time with the limited time remaining in the legislative session.
To learn more about Snyder’s organization, which is Alabama’s only full-time environmental lobbying group, visit www.conservationalabama.org.