Grandparents’ Rights Bill submitted to legislature
MADISON – A Madison resident is spearheading a bill for visitation rights of grandparents to see their grandchildren.
The Grandparents’ Rights Bill SB55 (Senate Bill 55) would give grandparents the authority to see their grandchildren, coordinator DeLourdes ‘Dee’ Booker said.
“This authorization would not apply when both parents agree to exclude a grandparent from their child’s life, but, if parents are divorced or one parent has died, the court should have the right to review one parent’s decision to alienate the child from half of his or her family,” Booker said.
Booker has founded the Grandparents ROC (Grandparents for the Rights of Children) organization to support the pending legislation. Retired judge Jimmy Sandlin of Huntsville has assisted Booker with the process.
As of Feb. 17, the “bill is sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee must pass the bill before it goes to the senate and house. The bill must pass the senate and the house to become law,” Booker said.
“The legislative session will (adjourn) at the end of March. The judiciary committee is dealing with a lot of bills, so the bill could sit there until the last minute,” Booker said. “There’s no way to tell how quickly it could get past the committee.”
Citizens who want to endorse the bill can call Sen. Cam Ward at 334-242-7873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Sen. Gerald Allen at 334-242-7889 or gerald.allen@alsenate. Callers must include “Grandparents’ Rights Bill (SB55)” in their messages.
“Do it today, even to leave messages and then call again tomorrow,” Booker said. “We need for everyone to start sending letters, emails and making calls to your local legislators.”
If the Senate Judiciary Committee approves the Grandparents’ Rights Bill, Booker’s organization, Grandparents ROC, will go to Montgomery and speak to the Senate and plead their case, she said.
To find legislators’ contact information, visit www.legislature.state.al.us and click “Find My Legislator.”
To access the petition for Grandparents ROC, visit change.org/p/alabama-governor-pass-grandparents-rights-visitation-law.