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A sticky wicket
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A sticky wicket

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Expect a battle in the Alabama Legislature over a piece of legislation that, on the surface, looks like a no-brainer.

The bill would roll back police and planning jurisdictions that extend as far as three miles outside the corporate limits of Alabama cities.

Opposition comes from unlikely sources, such as Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, who argues that pulling back police jurisdiction would increase his department’s patrol area so that another 50 deputies would be required, and municipal officials, who say that the jurisdictional areas are important for planning, stormwater control, and future annexation.

However, it’s difficult to conceive how those concerns would override one irrefutable reality: Those who live and/or operate businesses outside city boundaries but inside jurisdictional zones are subject to taxes and regulations from a governing body they have no right to vote for.

“I have a hard time explaining to my constituents why they are being taxed, policed and governed by folks they can’t vote for when you have perfectly competent county commission, county building official and county sheriff who can provide an awful lot of these services,” bill sponsor state Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Daphne, told al.com.

In many parts of the state, the issue is a sticky wicket with myriad complications, perhaps dooming the legislation for the dead bill pile.

However, the issue at the heart of the matter — taxation without representation — should be addressed by some resolution. Perhaps the easiest is the extension of voting rights to jurisdictional residents.

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