- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers have voted to create a commission that could move judge positions to areas with crowded court dockets and rapidly growing populations.

The Alabama House of Representatives voted 77-15 Tuesday for the bill. It now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.

The bill creates a Judicial Resources Allocation Commission to review population size and caseloads. When a judicial vacancy occurs, the commission would determine if the position should stay where it is or move to a different area.

Rep. Jim Hill told lawmakers that it would move judgeships to where they are most needed.

The bill came under criticism from a mixture of urban and rural lawmakers who predicted their areas would lose judges under the plan.

The Alabama chief justice would head the commission.

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