Fallen-cop license plate passes as part of catch-all Alabama car tag bill
by Tim Lockette
May 20, 2013 | 5859 views |  0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTGOMERY -- Rep. Randy Wood's bill to create a special license plate to honor fallen police officers -- and fund the state police officers' memorial in Anniston -- passed a final vote in the Legislature Monday night.

It got there by riding piggyback.

Wood proposed a bill last month that would create a specialty license plate that would honor police officers killed in the line of duty. In Wood's original proposal, the plate would have cost $25. Of that money, $20 would go to the State Law Enforcement Memorial in Anniston and $5 would go to the National Police Memorial in D.C.

Wood's bill quickly cleared the House and was headed to the Senate for a vote Monday, the last day of the session. But when it came back to the House, the bill had been folded into a larger bill -- actually five or more bills mashed into one -- which some legislators were calling an "omnibus" license plate bill.

"It's part of the omnibus car tag bill," Wood said of his bill late Monday night.

According to Wood and other legislators, the omnibus bill, HHB215, started out as a brief bill that would let the state offer specialty college license plates for fans of out-of-state college teams.

In the Senate, House members say, lawmakers added a number of amendments, essentially tacking a number of other car tag bills onto it. The full text of the revised bill wasn't available Monday night, but Wood provided The Star with a summary of the other bills added to HB215. They included a bill by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, allowing distinctive license plates for motorcycles and a bill by Rep. Steve Hurst, R- Munford, that changes vehicle weight requirements to make them consistent with federal rules.

The "omnibus" version of Wood's license plate proposal would increase the cost of a fallen-officer plate from Wood's proposed $25 per tag to $50 per tag. Wood has said he's not sure how much money the tag would generate for the police memorial.

The House passed the omnibus bill Monday, sending it on to the governor for approval.

Capitol and statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter: @TLockette_Star.
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