State Sen. Shelnutt: ‘Definitely looking at’ adding limits to governor’s ability to shutdown; Expects ‘great rebound’ in economy later this year
On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey further relaxed restrictions under her so-called Safer-at-Home Order to allow theaters, bowling alleys, museums and other establishments to open at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, with some limitations.
Now that some time has passed since the height of the state’s restrictions a month ago, State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) said he thinks the Alabama legislature will take a look at adding limits to the executive branch’s ability in the future, which he said could come with more input from the legislature.
During an interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Shelnutt offered his evaluation, adding he wished the reopening would have come sooner.
“I wish it would have happened several weeks ago,” he said. “Many of the legislators tried to tell her to go ahead and open up. I was kind of shocked that a lot of my parks in my local area, tennis courts had chains and disc golf courses were shut down. I tried to do everything I could to get her to open up earlier, but she didn’t really listen to me, as you can tell.”
Shelnutt said he saw the potential for civil unrest the longer things stayed shut down, and he praised Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon, who at the time of the Stay-at-Home order instructed his deputies not to enforce that order.
“I was hearing from a lot of folks In the beginning, yeah — we all felt like we needed to shut down,” he said. But it got to a point where, ‘Hey, there’s about to be some civil unrest,” Shelnutt said. “She wanted to avoid that.”
“My sheriff, Mark Moon from Blount County, was one of the first to come out and say that,” Shelnutt added. “I think maybe he could run for governor or anything he wants to in Blount County, anyway, right now. He is very popular.”
Given the public backlash to the shutdown, Shelnutt said he anticipates an effort to increase legislative oversight in the future.
“We’re definitely looking at this and going to try to limit this from ever happening again,” Shelnutt said. “Or if it does happen, at least I think the governor should have to come to the legislature, and you know, have the vote of the legislators, pass a law. You can’t extend the shutdown just because you make a proclamation.”
The Trussville Republican lawmaker also offered an optimistic view of the economy going forward, saying he foresees a trend toward normalcy headed into next year.
“I think the last quarter of this year is going to be a great rebound, I hope,” he said. “I think we will overcome this, and we’ll be back to a lot more normalcy in the coming months, at least I hope so.”
@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 Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.