News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007

Presidential primary date shaping up as busy day in Alabama

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Feb. 5 was already shaping up as a big news day for Alabama with the state conducting an important presidential primary and Gulf Coast cities holding Fat Tuesday celebrations to conclude Mardi Gras.

But now it appears the date will be even bigger.

State law provides that in the second year of a legislative term, the Legislature begins its regular session on the first Tuesday in February.

For 2008, that date falls on Feb. 5.

Traditionally, the governor gives one of his most important speeches, the State of the State address, on the opening night of the legislative session.

“It sounds like it’s going to be an exciting day,” said Jeff Emerson, Gov. Bob Riley’s communications director.

The governor’s State of the State speech is traditionally carried live on statewide TV and gets front-page coverage in newspapers the following morning.

But with about a dozen states holding presidential primaries on Feb. 5, the media attention will be on the Democratic and Republican winners.

who could nearly have a lock on their parties’ nominations.

Pat Harris, assistant secretary of the Senate, said the opening day of the legislative session is set, but the governor’s speech is not locked in law. The Legislature can pass a resolution to invite him to speak on another day, if he or the Legislature wishes, Harris said.

Emerson said Thursday the governor hasn’t given it any thought, “and at this time, doesn’t plan to do anything differently than he normally would do on the first day of the legislative session.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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