Alabama Legislature basics for 2016: Q&A with ARA’s VP

When does the Alabama Legislature meet in 2016?


Alabama Retail’s vice president, Alison Scott Wingate Hosp

Alabama lawmakers went into session Tuesday, Feb. 2.  They must meet no more than 30 legislative days (days when the Legislature is in formal session.  This does not include days when there are only committee meetings).  They must complete these days within 105 calendar days, so the last day they could possibly meet would be May 16.

Where is the best place for me to get information about legislation that might affect my business?

Stay in touch with Alabama Retail!  During the week, we tweet items and post information on our website and Facebook page.  Each Friday, we email a comprehensive recap of the week, known as the Capital Retail Report.  Follow Alabama Retail on Twitter and on Facebook and make sure Alabama Retail has your correct contact information.  We will keep you informed!

The Alabama Retail Association looks out for my interests at the Alabama State House, right?
Absolutely.  Our strength, however, is in our numbers.  From time to time, we may ask you to contact your legislator to voice your opinion on an issue.  I can’t overestimate the importance that legislators place upon hearing from constituents.  We have to make 10 contacts with a legislator to get the same impact your one call or email can make.

How and when is the best time to talk to my state senator or representative?

Honestly, the best time to talk to your legislator is BEFORE you need something.  Just a few contacts when they are not in session will be beneficial to your request when they are in session.  If they have seen you at an event, or you have taken the time to thank them for a vote or something they did in your community, they will remember your name during session when you call to ask for their help.

When the Legislature is in session, things move quickly.  Lawmakers are usually in Montgomery on Tuesday through Thursday of each week, so if the issue can wait, it is likely to get more attention if you contact them on Monday or Friday at their home or office.  If you happen to know them or see them about town over the weekend, then it would be appropriate to discuss something them.  Emails are fine any time, but may get lost in the shuffle if sent on a legislative day.

How do I contact my state senator or representative?

2016TEMPORARYLegislativeRosterCoverOn this website, go to Find Your Lawmaker. There you’ll find links that will help you find your senator and representative. Each year, the Alabama Retail Association also prints a legislative roster for its members and friends. An online version is available here to help you contact your lawmaker and find out on which committees he or she serves.

What will be the main issue in the 2016 regular session?

Money.  It is as simple and as difficult as that.  Alabama doesn’t have enough.  You can count on Alabama Retail to work to make sure this burden isn’t unfairly placed upon your back.