- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The House of Representatives has approved a bill that would reorganize much of the legislative branch of state government.

Representatives voted 64-30 for the bill Thursday.

Republicans said the changes would streamline a hodgepodge of existing oversight. Democrats expressed concerns that it will give the majority party too much power over legislative functions.

The bill consolidates operations under a reconfigured Legislative Council of lawmakers. The bill would also require the secretary of the Alabama Senate and the clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives to be re-elected every four years.

Republican Rep. Mike Ball said the plan will make the operations more efficient and add structure.

Rep. Patricia Todd, a Democrat, said the changes will put political pressure on legislative staff.

State senators will now decide whether to accept House changes to the bill.

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