Lawmakers hold orientation before special session begins

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The new Alabama legislature is gathering in Tuscaloosa for a three-day orientation session. It is the first time the Democrats and Republicans have met together since their election a month ago.

Lieutenant Governor-elect Kay Ivey will address the group Monday afternoon at the University of Alabama Law School.

The lawmakers will discuss ethics and the economy on Tuesday. Governor-elect Robert Bentley speaks Wednesday.

This orientation comes before a special session begins on Wednesday. The governor called the session to take care of several proposals.

Governor Riley's proposals would give subpoena power to the ethics commission, ban transferral of money from one political action committee to another one and ban lawmakers from having any other state government job, including colleges and universities.

If you want to give your input on ethics ideas, you will have a chance Wednesday night. Lawmakers are holding a public hearing in Montgomery.

Former House speaker Seth Hammett is one of several Democrats who will not be around for the special session. Hammett says he does not regret his decision to step down after 12 years as speaker and more than 30 years as a state representative.

Republican Mike Hubbard takes the gavel as speaker of the house as Republicans take control of the State House for the first time since the 1870's.

Hammett says his party needs to be patient and wait for voters to change their minds again.

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