MONTGOMERY — Legislation changing how the state's Public Health Officer is appointed wasn't voted on this week in the Senate.

With only three legislative days remaining, the bill is dead for the 2023 session despite recent comments by Alabama's State Health Officer Scott Harris regarding transgender laws. 

The bill made it to the Senate floor on Wednesday but was carried over and never voted on after a filibuster in opposition.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) said during a filibuster on the Senate floor on Wednesday, "This is not gonna happen, man."

"These doctors study the science so I believe in it and so we'll be around here for awhile because you can't be carrying out cabinet members," Singleton said. "Let the health officer be the health officer."

State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) said in a text message that he plans to bring the bill again next year on Friday. 

The last version of Senate Bill 171 would've made the State Health Officer role a position appointed by the governor from a list of names submitted by the State Committee of Public Health. The person in the role would serve at the pleasure of the Governor. 

Currently, the position is appointed by unelected members of the State Committee of Public Health, which consists of members of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. 

The bill also would've required the State Health Officer to get the consent of the Governor before adopting an emergency rule.

"Somebody is making that decision. Yes, we are talking about the Governor making that decision. Right now, it is a bureaucrat who is completely unaccountable to the people of Alabama. The whole premise behind this bill was to try to make this person accountable to the state of Alabama and the public," Givhan said on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

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