HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — A new bill in the Alabama Legislature will add an extra year to some lawmakers who were elected or re-elected in 2020.
SB-119, sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner and Rep. Jim Hill, will move the upcoming 2024 municipal elections to 2025. The bill impacts more than 97% of municipalities in the state of Alabama, including Alabaster, Helena, Homewood, Pelham, Irondale, Gardendale and Hoover.
“It’s really gonna solve a lot of problems and get us on the same rotation,” Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said.
Brocato says it’s no secret getting things done in government doesn’t happen over night.
“Because moving government is slow. It’s slow. There’s no way around it,” Brocato said.
Which is part of the reason he supports SB-119. He believes with the extra year on his current term, his team can get more stuff done like finishing ideas for RiverChase, even road work for the city.
“I think we will start seeing some things a lot sooner because we started on them 4 years ago. Again, you couldn’t get them done in 4 years. It’s amazing on how things like that happen,” Brocato said.
Lorelei Lein with the Alabama League of Municipalities says the idea has been in the works for some time, and the pandemic made it clear the change needed to happen.
“Right up against the municipal elections. And the voting locations for municipal elections than state and county elections,” Lein said.
She said this bill moves the qualification process for candidates from July to June, which has the potential to help voters and those working local elections like city and county clerks.
“For the clerk to make sure the names are correct for the ballot. To make sure that the candidates are properly qualified and to have plenty of time to get ballots printed, absentee, and the election,” Lein said.
Leaders like Brocato hope to make the most out of the extra year.
“If there was some way we could cut through some of that red tape, it would save a lot of pain and it would save a lot of money,” Brocato said.
The cities not impacted by the bill are as follows: Auburn, Bessemer, Dothan, Gadsden, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Mountain Brook, Scottsboro, Talladega, and Tuscaloosa.