People in Huntsville divided on controversial bills

Bill on cigarettes and driving in legislature

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There are always controversial bills every year and 2020 is no different. This year, lawmakers will debate everything from raising Alabama’s marriage age to creating a lottery.

Lawmakers in Alabama will be deciding on some controversial bills this session and we asked what people in North Alabama have to think about some of them.
Lawmakers in Alabama will be deciding on some controversial bills this session and we asked what people in North Alabama have to think about some of them. (Source: WAFF)

One of the bills that will be debated on this session involves smoking cigarettes and driving. If you’re driving down the road smoking a cigarette, and a child is riding with you, you would be hit with a ticket.

That’s if this bill passes.

Right now there are no laws in Alabama to keep someone from smoking with a child present. The bill says if you are caught smoking in the car and a child under the age of 14 is with you, an officer can fine you $100 dollars each time. Some people I asked say lawmakers should absolutely pass this, others told me it is a violation of personal rights.

“I think that would be excellent. they've determined that smoking is bad for your health. and nobody needs to smoke,” Bob Baccus said.

"That’s kind of a tough one because you’re getting into personal rights there. I don’t think they should make it illegal, but maybe do more of a PSA kind of thing. Just to educate the public on the fact that maybe they shouldn’t do that,” says Carolyn Mckaskle, who lives in Huntsville.

This would become law the first day of the third month after it passes.

If you were born a girl but identified as a boy, should you be able to play on the boys basketball team? That is a question lawmakers will decide on. A bill on the table this session would prohibit public schools from letting students play with a team that's not their birth gender. Unless that activity has both genders playing together It's known as the Gender is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL We talked with people who took both sides on this topic.

“I think transgender students, just like transgender people should be looked on as their gender. They’re what they feel. I don’t think that’s a problem,” Sherry Barney, who lives in Huntsville said.

“Some things don’t change in terms of strength and that kind of thing. So I think it would be a lot simpler. Whatever your birth gender was, that’s what you would need to play,” says Jennifer Patterson, who lives in Huntsville.

People in Huntsville divided on controversial bills

It's a question that's been asked for a long time; will Alabama get a lottery. Well that's one of the bills on the table for this next legislative session. Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon says it's time and he feels like it could be a great revenue stream for the state. But he says it needs to be done the right way

“People look at gambling and the lottery and think it's sinful and it gets out churched,” Barney said.

“I don’t think we should be gambling at all. The bible teaches against it. You shouldn’t gamble,” Baccus said.

We have a team in Montgomery who is closely following the session.

We will update you with any new developments.

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