5/1/2008 - May 2008 SLI Newsletter
This month's Educational Update addresses a very significant effort of gamblers to create a monopoly for unregulated gambling in Alabama. It would be located at the VictoryLand facility in Macon County. Leaders in the Alabama Legislature have taken unprecedented steps in an effort to give immunity to a gambling enterprise.
Several years ago this same leadership was instrumental in the passage of a local bill which permitted a referendum on the sale of alcohol in Cedar Bluff, Alabama. Cedar Bluff did not qualify as a city of sufficient size under the general law for a liquor referendum. This was pointed out to the legislature in an advisory opinion by the Alabama Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the leadership of the legislature pushed the Cedar Bluff bill through. See SLI Educational Update, March 2007, "When the Alabama Constitution Means Nothing," at www.southeastlawinstitute.org. While this was an egregious example of the legislature not following the law, it pales in comparison to the Macon County gambling bill.
There are still two years left with this legislature and we are concerned with its lawlessness. At the same time, any bill offered by groups to protect family or personal values make no progress at all. The Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act will not have any opportunity to pass this year. Even the Umbilical Cord Blood Use Act is doomed to failure.
You might think that after all the years I have been providing legal advice on these issues, I would not be surprised at this disregard for the law. Yet, I am and it troubles me a great deal. It would be very beneficial if each of us would contact our own representative and senator and ask their position on the various issues and specifically inquire as to whether they support the unlawful attitude the legislature appears to take on an increasing basis. Also, pray for all of the men and women in the legislature, as well as in other offices of government, that they will be godly stewards of what has been entrusted to them. To find your representative's or senator's name, telephone number and email address, you can go to www.legislature.state.al.us and follow the links; or on the home page, left hand side, put in your zip code and it will identify your legislator. You may also call the Senate switchboard at (334) 242-7800 or the House switchboard at (334) 242-7600. The operators should be able to give you both Montgomery and home district telephone numbers. Local newspapers publish from time to time a complete list of senators and representatives with addresses and telephone numbers. Our website has a link to the Alabama Legislature.
One of our civic duties is participation in the governmental process. Even if you are not personally involved in an effort, as a citizen you should make your voice known. We encourage all of our supporters to participate in the civic process.
Please continue to pray for our efforts as we complete this legislative year. Our time and resources have been significantly stretched. Please send as generous a financial gift that you can. Remember, your contributions are tax deductible.
On behalf of the Southeast Law Institute, I am,
Yours very truly,
A. Eric Johnston
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