AL House Votes to Change Senate Policy

Jan 24, 2018

Credit Jay Williams / Flickr

In the wake of the first Democratic U.S. Senate victory in Alabama in a quarter-century, state lawmakers are working to get rid of special elections for Senate.

House members voted 67 to 31 yesterday in favor of a bill that would change how Senate vacancies are filled in Alabama. Instead of a special election, the governor would appoint an interim senator who would serve until the next statewide general election – up to two years.

Bill sponsor, Republican Representative Steve Clouse, says the measure would save the state of Alabama a lot of money. He says the special election that ultimately put Doug Jones in the U.S. Senate cost more than $10 million.

Democrats widely opposed the proposal. Chris England, a Democratic Representative from Tuscaloosa, says people should vote on the powerful position as soon as possible rather than letting an appointee hold it for that long.