Several bills getting close to being signed - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Several bills getting close to being signed

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Lawmakers could send their first bills of the new session to Governor Bentley for his signature very soon.

In the Senate, members are likely to pass the so called "Rolling Reserve" bill. It would force lawmakers to use 15 year average funding levels to write the education budget instead of projected revenue numbers.

House Democrats are expected to filibuster the Drop Program. It ends the state's deferred retirement option program for teachers. Proponents say cutting the deferred retirement option program would save more than $58 million next year.

A proposed statewide ban on texting while driving is closer to being passed. A House committee approved the bill on Thursday. It now goes to the full House for debate.

State leaders are also trying to fight the meth problem. One proposal is to require a doctor's prescription for common cold medicines normally available over the counter. Meth makers use the pseudoephedrine inside the pills along with other chemicals to make their drug.

The bill's backers say other states are ahead of Alabama when it comes to controlling the flow of these substances.

 "Our hope is that if we put this bill into law, where it's a required prescription drug, we can slow down the production in our state because it's an epidemic that's all over the state," says Rep. Ed Henry. "There's no one particular region."

In recent years, Alabama lawmakers have forced pharmacies to put cold meds with pseudoephedrine behind the counter to prevent theft. Drug stores are also required to send customer information to a state database.

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