MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Alabama legislators are negotiating a compromise over a bill to place a $2 fee on all new tires sold in the state to fund the hiring of state troopers. After a tire dealer member of the Alabama House of Representatives objected to establishing tire fees for anything other than scrap tire cleanup, the sponsor of the state trooper bill said he will redraft the legislation for next session to change the funding mechanism.
The state House Ways and Means Committee placed a hold on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Angelo Mancuso, D-4th District. Since the House was nearing the end of its session, this essentially stymied passage of the legislation.
Rep. Mancuso said he didn't originate the bill, but introduced it at the behest of the Alabama State Troopers Association, which has long suffered a severe manpower shortage.
"A 1981 survey showed the state was short about 500 state troopers, and the situation hasn't changed since then," he said. "It's one of the biggest problems we have in Alabama."
But Rep. H. Mac Gipson, R-88th District, opened Rep. Mancuso's eyes to the state's scrap tire problems and the need to direct fees on tires toward solving tire-related issues, Rep. Mancuso said.
Rep. Gipson is president of Gipson's Auto Tire Inc., Prattville, Ala., and a board member and past president of the Alabama Tire Dealers Association.
The two legislators agreed that the state trooper bill should be rewritten to gain funding from some other source, and that a bill could be introduced to dedicate the tire fee to scrap tire cleanup, Rep. Mancuso said. Rep. Gipson could not be reached for comment.
Alabama has had a scrap tire law on the books since June 1999. That law created an annual licensing system for four classes of scrap tire handlers—scrap tire receivers, scrap tire collection facilities, fleet tire receivers and scrap tire transporters—and called for a Scrap Tire Study Commission to generate a report to the legislature by 2001.