Alabama Policy Institute: Ivey ‘herd of turtles’ remarks dismissing legislature ‘a step too far’
During an interview that aired on last week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Gov. Kay Ivey seemingly dismissed members of the Alabama Legislature considering efforts to add a check to executive authority during an emergency as Alabama approaches a year of being under a health state of emergency for COVID-19.
Ivey seemed to downplay two bills, one sponsored by State Rep. Becky Nordgren (R-Gadsden), which would allow the legislature to call itself into session. The other bill, led by State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn), would limit the length of a state of emergency and the state health officer’s power.
“I know they’ve been introduced, and the legislature always likes to have their time and their say, and that’s fine — but in an emergency, you don’t need a herd of turtles gathering to make an emergency decision,” Ivey said when asked by Alabama Public Television’s Don Dailey.
In statements given to Yellowhammer News, the Alabama Policy Institute criticized the governor’s tack.
“The power to call the legislature into special session was vested in her office, but she chose not to do so. Now we know that it was because she does not deem [the legislature] as necessary to the processes of governance.”
— Alabama Policy Institute (@alabamapolicy) February 22, 2021
“For the governor to so cavalierly dismiss the legislative branch of government in that way is a step too far,” API Chief Policy Officer Phil Williams, also a former state senator, said in the statement. “For a year, she has had sole reign in Montgomery to shut down businesses, extend legislation that was not hers to extend, and spend CARES Act funds on government instead of the private sector. The power to call the legislature into special session was vested in her office, but she chose not to do so. Now we know that it was because she does not deem them as necessary to the processes of governance.”
Alabama Policy Institute President and CEO Caleb Crosby echoed Williams’ sentiment.
“The comments just made by the governor cast doubt upon her willingness to even sign these two significant pieces of legislation,” Crosby said. “The people of this great state need to know that their own voices are being heard in the halls of government during this pandemic. The most likely way for that to occur is for their senators and representatives to be given a voice in the matter. These statements by the governor are exactly the reason why API has been calling for a rebalancing of the balance of power for the past year.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.