Alabama Law and Governament

To understand Alabama’s law and government better, one needs to know that the government of the state is organized in accordance with Constitution of Alabama. The government of Alabama can be categorized into Executive, judicial and legislative branches.

The Executive branch of the Government

The executive branch of the Alabamian government includes the Governor of Alabama, Lieutenant Governor of Alabama and the Cabinet.

The Governor of the state is the upholder of the constitution and the law. He comes to power by election every four years and his time is limited to two consecutive terms. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state’s defense forces that include the Alabama Army National Guard and the Alabama Air National Guard.

The Lieutenant Governor of the state is also the ex-officio President of the Senate. He is also elected every four years by election with the condition that he has lived in the United States of America for 10 years and in Alabama for 7. He is required to be 30 years of age or older prior to the election.

The executive branch of officers include several other office heads like the Attorney General of Alabama, the State Auditor of Alabama, the Secretary of State of Alabama, the State Treasurer of Alabama, the Superintendent of Education of Alabama and the Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.

The Judicial Branch of the Government

The legislative branch of the Alabamian government consists of the Supreme Court and the ‘Court of the Judiciary’. The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice and eight other associate justices. The Clerk of the Court is also an important member of the Supreme Court family.

The Court of the Judiciary consists of one Chief Judge, two judges from the circuit court and one district judge. Other members of the court of judiciary include two associates of the state bar, three civilians and one member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

The Supreme Court has the authority to make rules regarding the administration, practice and procedures followed in all the courts in Alabama. It also has control over all the appeals where the amount in question exceeds $50,000.

The court of the Judiciary, on the other hand, is ordered to look into matters regarding complaints filed by the Inquiry Commission and other aspects of day to day convening.

The Legislative Branch of the Government

The House of Representatives consists of 105 members who are chosen from various districts across the state. They are all elected for a four year term on the conditions that they are citizens of Alabama for three years or more and have lived in the district they have represented for one year or more. The House also has a Speaker, who is elected from amongst the members and serves as the presiding officer.

The members of the House are given a salary of $10 per day or $300 per month. This is supplemented by other perks such as travelling and eating allowances.

There are regular annual sessions of the Legislature that are convened on the first Tuesday of the month of February except under these circumstances:

It is convened on the first Tuesday in the month of March during the first year of the four year term.

It is convened on the second Tuesday in January when the session is convened in the last year of the four year term.

Lawmaking Procedure

  • The law making procedure is initiated in the House of Representatives or the Senate. The bills that deal with increase or decrease in revenue must necessarily be introduced in the House of Representatives only.
  • With respect to bills that address changes in localities, it is required that they be advertised in the local newspaper before being convened in the House for further perusal.
  • Other such regulations govern the passing and making of bills which eventually become laws of the state.

Independent Executive Officials

  • Attorney General of Alabama
  • State Auditor of Alabama
  • Secretary of State of Alabama
  • State Treasurer of Alabama
  • Superintendent of Education of Alabama
  • Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries

Cabinet Members (as of 2010)

  • Chief of Staff Dave Stewart
  • Communications Director Jeff Emerson
  • Legal Advisor Ken Wallis
  • Finance Department Travis Allen
  • Banking Department John Harrison
  • Department of Industrial Relations Phyllis Kennedy
  • Department of Insurance Walter A. Bell
  • Department of Labor Jim Bennett
  • Department of Mental Health John Houston
  • Department of Revenue Tom Surtees
  • Department of Senior Services Irene Collins
  • Department of Tourism and Travel Lee Sentell
  • Department of Transportation Joe McInnes
  • Department of Public Safety Col. Chris Murphy
  • Alabama Development Office Neal Wade
  • Emergency Management Agency Brock Long
  • Alabama Military Department Maj. Gen. Mark Bowen
  • Department of Homeland Security Jim Walker
  • Medicaid Agency Carol Herrmann-Steckel
  • Department of Human Resources Dr. Page Walley
  • Alcohol Beverage Control Emory Folmar
  • Department of Children's Affairs Richard Dorrough
  • Department of Economic and Community Affairs Bill Johnson
  • Department of Corrections Richard Allen
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Barnett Lawley

Alabama Committees

  • Rules
    • Consent Calendars
    • Resolutions and Ceremonies
    • Special Order Calendars
  • Education Finance and Appropriations
    • Appropriations
    • Salaries and Benefits
    • Taxes and Exemptions
  • Government Finance and Appropriations
    • Appropriations
    • Salaries and Benefits
    • Taxes and Exemptions
  • Judiciary
    • Civil Justice
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sentencing Commission
  • State Government
    • Government Regulations
    • Government Services
    • Personnel Management
  • Commerce
    • Business and Labor
    • Economic Development
    • Environmental Management
  • Health
    • Health Care Costs
    • Health Care Professionals
    • Medical Procedures
  • Constitution and Elections
    • Campaign Finance
    • Voting Qualifications and Procedures
    • Constitutional Revisions
  • Public Safety
    • Traffic Regulations
    • Vehicle Regulations
    • Homeland Security
  • Boards and Commissions
    • Agency Modifications
    • Professional Qualifications
    • Proposed Agencies
  • County and Municipal Government
    • Government Regulations
    • Government Services
    • Personnel Management
  • Banking and Insurance
    • Banking Regulations
    • Financial Services
    • Insurance Regulations
  • Education
    • Elementary and Secondary
    • Colleges and Universities
    • Personnel Management
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources
    • Agribusiness
    • Hunting and Fishing
    • Petroleum & Waterways
  • Tourism and Travel
    • Recreation and Lodging Facilities
    • Sports and Sports Facilities
    • Alcohol and Gambling Regulations
  • Internal Affairs
  • Local Legislation
  • Jefferson County Legislation
  • Mobile County Legislation
  • Madison County Legislation
  • Montgomery County Legislation
  • Tuscaloosa County Legislation
  • Shelby County Legislation
  • Lee County Legislation

Presidential Elections Results

Year Republican Democratic State winner
2008 60.32% 1,266,546 38.80% 813,479 John McCain
2004 62.46% 1,176,394 36.84% 693,933 George W. Bush
2000 56.47% 944,409 41.59% 695,602 George W. Bush
1996 50.12% 769,044 43.16% 662,165 Bob Dole
1992 47.65% 804,283 40.88% 690,080 George Bush
1988 59.17% 815,576 39.86% 549,506 George Bush
1984 60.54% 872,849 38.28% 551,899 Ronald Reagan
1980 48.75% 654,192 47.45% 636,730 Ronald Reagan
1976 42.61% 504,070 55.73% 659,170 Jimmy Carter
1972 72.43% 728,701 25.54% 256,923 Richard Nixon
1968* 13.99% 146,923 18.72% 196,579 George Wallace (I)
1964 69.45% 479,085 30.55% 210,732 Barry Goldwater
1960 42.16% 237,981 56.39% 318,303 John F. Kennedy