Governor Bentley signed HB9 this evening! Effective immediately, homebrewing is legal in Alabama!!!!
After a drama-filled day for us listening to the Senate, and after all hope seemed long lost, they brought up HB9 unexpectedly, out of the blue, and passed it 18 - 7 - 1 tonight, without a single word of debate. The Alabama Homebrew Bill has passed the Legislature!!!!
It goes to Governor Bentley now. Although he has indicated that he supports the bill, we need to make sure he knows thousands of Alabamians want him to sign it. This is the one, last step needed before Homebrewing is legal in Alabama, and in all 50 states! So, please go to http://governor.alabama.gov/contact/contact_form.aspx, and fill out the form with your information. Choose "Legislative Session 2013" from the "Email Concerning which Issue" choices. And in the "Comments", in your own words, politely ask the governor to sign HB9, the Homebrew Bill. Try to get as many people as you can to do this! We know our prohibitionists opposition will be writing him, and we must vastly overwhelm their numbers!!!
Major thanks go to Senator Bill Holtzclaw for seeing this through, and to Representative Mac McCutcheon for many years of work. None of this would have been possible without our bills' sponsors. And especially, none of this would have happened without you, the grassroots organization who has brought Alabama to the verge of ending the Prohibition of Homebrew! Thank you, all!
We are hearing from Montgomery that HB9 has a very good chance of being on the Senate's Special Order Calendar for Tuesday, May 7. The Senate convenes at noon, and that gives us all morning long for everyone to call his/her senator one more time, asking them to vote Yes for the Homebrew Bill. If you don't know your senator's State House phone number, look it up: http://www.freethehops.org/legislative/. Make sure your senator knows you want the Right To Brew, just like everybody in 49 other states already has!
Keep calling the Senate Rules Committee members via our last action alert: http://www.alahomebrewing.org/news/actionalert-senatespecialordercalendarGet your friends and family to call, too. It is becoming critical. As of today, Monday, May 6, there are only 3 more Legislative Days left in the session. If HB9 does not get a vote by then, it dies, just like last year's Homebrew Bill did. The Senate will likely meet tomorrow, Thursday, and then for the last time Monday, May 20. We really need the vote to happen this week if at all possible.
The Alabama Homebrew Bill, HB9, was reported favorably by the Senate Job Creation and Economic Development Committee yesterday afternoon. The next step is for the whole Senate to vote on it. If HB9 gets approved by the Senate, then it goes to the governor to sign into law!
But first, it must be chosen out of the large stack of available bills to be placed on the Senate's agenda for a vote. The Senate Rules Committee defines each day's agenda on what is called a Special Order Calendar. In fact, there will be only eight more Legislative Days left in the session for HB9 to be placed on a Special Order Calendar. Those days will span about the next month's time, but this means we have only 8 more opportunities to earn our Right To Brew....
So, what can you do to help? Contact some or all members of the Alabama Senate Rules Committee and politely ask them to please allow HB9 to get a vote by placing it on a Special Order Calendar as soon as possible. Last year's Homebrew Bill died because the Senate never brought it up for a vote. We must not let that happen again this year!
The following senators constitute the Rules Committee. You will be surprised how quickly you can go through the list of phone numbers, one by one, asking the senators' assistants who answer something like, "Please allow HB9, the Homebrew Bill, to get its chance for a vote by placing it on a Special Order Calendar." Or, if you prefer, several of the senators have email addresses listed.
Thank you all for helping pass HB9, the Alabama Homebrew Bill!
Senate Rules Committee Members
Senator Jabo Waggoner, Chair
Senator Jimmy Holley, Vice Chair
Senator Scott Beason
Senator Roger Bedford
Senator Gerald Dial
Senator Priscilla Dunn
Senator Vivian Figures
Senator Rusty Glover
Senator Tammy Irons
Senator Arthur Orr
Senator Trip Pittman
Senator Paul Sanford
Senator Clay Scofield
Senator Paul Bussman
Right To Brew
HB9 is expected to successfully move forward from its Senate committee tomorrow afternoon. Once again, time in the Legislative Session is starting to run short, so be prepared for an action alert to push for getting HB9 on a Special Order Calendar for a full Senate vote.
After 1 hour and 59 grueling minutes of opponents filibustering and offering outlandish amendments to our bill this afternoon, HB9 passed the House by a healthy margin of 58-33. Thank you to everyone who called and wrote their representatives in support! This is a huge step forward, and now HB9 moves to the Senate. Be ready to start writing and calling senators, and we will earn our Right To Brew this year!
Homebrewers, craft beer enthusiasts, and everyone who respects personal freedom, it is time for all of us to email and/or call our Alabama House representatives! HB9, the Alabama Homebrew Bill, is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives this Tuesday, April 2. Our neo-prohibitionists opposition is out in force, and it is critical that we outnumber their calls against our bill. It is up to all of us to ensure that Alabama is not left alone in Homebrew Prohibition this year.
This page on our website will help you find your representative's email address (if he/she has one), and State House phone number, along with some advice for what to say: http://www.alahomebrewing.org/contact-your-representatives. It is quicker and easier than you probably think.
Even if you have already emailed or called your representative earlier this session, now is the time to do it again! Sending a reminder shortly before the vote is always a good idea. Never forget, your voice as a constituent carries weight.
Thank you all for helping pass HB9, the Alabama Homebrew Bill!
Right To Brew
The Alabama Homebrew Bills are still waiting for their turns to get a vote. Remember, both successfully made it out of committee last month. Since then the House of Representatives version, HB9, made it on the agenda for a vote a couple of weeks ago. However, the House did not make it through all of the listed bills that day, so we are back to waiting again. SB171, the Senate version of the Homebrew Bill, has not yet made it on the Senate's agenda. As you may have heard, the Legislature has slowed down due to some political issues completely unrelated to us. They should get back up to normal speed soon, but what can we do in the mean time?
Write our legislators! That's right, emailing a short, polite message is the absolute easiest way to ask your representative and senator to support HB9 and SB171. Be respectful, and be sure to thank them for taking the time to read your message. Of course, calling them on the phone is also a very effective way to express your support for the bills, but it's best to do that during business hours.
If you want to go a step further, type, print, and mail letters to your legislators. The physical piece of paper carries more weight, literally and figuratively! And if you want to go yet another step further, hand-write a short letter, and mail it. The extra time and effort that takes truly leave an impression on the lawmakers. And if you want to go all out, do like Kevin did here. Great job, Kevin!!! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=557544504280347&set=a.490891610945637.118497.233531956681605&type=1&theater.
One more thing. If you have already contacted your representative and senator, then do it again from time to time until we get our votes. We need to make sure Homebrewing stays on their minds. After all, every one of us makes up the Right To Brew grassroots effort, and our collective voices are our power and influence!
This article explains it nicely: http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/03/homebrew_bill_derailed_by_acco.html. It is sad, but encouraging at the same time. Keep the faith, and more importantly, keep calling your representative and senator, and politely ask them to support HB9 and SB171, the Homebrew Bills!