MONTGOMERY – This week the Alabama House of Representatives passed HB 392, sponsored by Rep. Mike Jones (R-Andalusia). Jones’ bill creates a joint legislative committee to oversee large financial agreements made by the executive branch
The legislation from Jones, chair of the powerful Rules Committee, would create the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Obligation Transparency. The committee would have the authority to approve or disapprove of contracts, leases and agreements by the executive branch and the agencies therein.
Under the proposed law the committee would meet to review any financial agreement greater than $10 million or 5% of the agency’s annual appropriation from the State General Fund.
Making up the committee would be the chair, vice-chair and ranking minority members of the committees in each legislative chamber that oversee taxation.
The proposed oversight committee would be able to meet when the legislature is in or out of session. It would have to issue approval or disapproval within 45 days of a state agency submitting a proposed contract.
If the proposed committee disapproved of a contract it would be delayed from going into effect until the end of the current or next occurring general session of the legislature.
Jones noted in remarks on the floor that this delay would give lawmakers time to address via legislation the proposal disapproved of by the committee, and added that new legislation would be required to put a halt to any state contract of which the proposed committee disapproved.
HB 392 ultimately received unanimous support in the House, with a final vote of 98-0.
Source: Yellowhammer News