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Are lawmakers avoiding tough votes?

Members of the House of Representatives proved themselves effective at stalling on Tuesday as opposition to an anti-abortion bill stalled action on the next-to-the last day of Alabama’s legislative session.

Citing "obstructionist legislators," one legislator complained that her counterparts were stalling simply to avoid dealing with the controversial abortion issue. Others said the Senate’s failure to take action on a bill to restore voting rights to some ex-felons played a role in the lawmakers’ motives.

Of course, it’s not the only political hot potato facing the house in these final days of the session.

Bills to create a constitutional amendment allowing for the posting of the Ten Commandments in schools; to ban smoking in many public places; and to require background checks for most public and private school employees also remain "pending" on the legislative agenda.

And if lawmakers don’t deal with the political objectionists, those measures are likely to be left on the table as the session ends.

And that’s inexcusable.

The Legislature has had plenty of time to deal with these issues ­ and hundreds of others ­ during this regular session. But lawmakers have procrastinated ­ or perhaps to be more apt, they’ve deftly sidestepped the difficult issues.

And now, with the clock ticking and time running out, our state representatives are arguing over the naming of bridges and appointments to committees, instead of resolving key issues that remain on the table.

Our state legislature should be ­ and must be ­ more effective than this.

It’s time to put the politics aside and accomplish something.  

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