MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama residents would be allowed to donate some of their state income tax refunds toward the construction of a border wall with Mexico under a bill approved by the state Senate on Thursday.
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, passed 23-6.
Marsh’s bill authorizes people to send money to We Build The Wall Inc., a nonprofit set up to raise money for construction of the wall, a key promise made by President Donald Trump in his 2016 presidential campaign.
“This bill is about sending a message to Washington that we support President Trump and his mission to secure our southern border,” Marsh said in a statement.
Whether the money raised will get to Washington is another question. Congress must vote to accept money raised by private organizations, and such a vote to accept money from We Build The Wall seems unlikely as long as Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democrats in the state Senate questioned the wall project and said it would do little for the state of Alabama. Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton cited a recent report that said money for a $5.2 million project for the Anniston Army Depot, in Marsh’ home district, was being diverted for Trump’s efforts to pay for the border wall.
“I’m going to be on the right side of this issue,” he said. “And the right side is not the Trump side.”
The bill moves on to the Alabama House of Representatives.