Snapshot of Bills that Passed, Died on Final Day of 2021 Legislative Session
The 2021 regular session of the Alabama Legislature ended late Monday night. Here is a look at what passed and what failed on the final day.
BILLS THAT PASSED:
Vaccine Passport Ban
Lawmakers approved a ban on so-called vaccine passports. It bans a person from being forced to provide proof of a coronavirus vaccination to enter a business, school or event. The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey. Supporters say a vaccine passport would be a government intrusion into personal freedom and health choices. A number of Democrats expressed concern after Republicans stripped language exempting nursing homes and other health offices.
Delay in Reading Requirements
After COVID-19 disrupted two school years, lawmakers voted to delay an upcoming state requirement for third-graders to pass a reading test before moving up to the fourth grade. The bill delays the promotion requirement, now set to take effect next year, by two years. The bill now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.
Yoga Ban Lifted
Lawmakers approved a bill to lift the state’s decades-old ban on yoga in public schools. The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey. The Alabama Board of Education voted in 1993 to prohibit yoga, hypnosis and meditation in public school classrooms.
Curbside Voting Ban
Lawmakers approved a ban on curbside voting. The bill forbids election workers from setting up curbside areas for people to vote as well as forbids the setting up of voting machines outside of a polling place. The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey. Republicans portrayed curbside voting as fundamentally unsecure, but Democrats argued would make voting easier for the elderly and others.
BILLS THAT DIED:
Lawmakers ended the session without a vote on a gambling bill. Time expired without a House vote on the Senate-passed lottery and casino bill. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said House leaders opted not to bring the bill up for debate on the busy final legislative day after negotiations fell apart earlier this month. Gov. Kay Ivey’s office indicated she will only call a special session on the issue if lawmakers can reach an agreement. Alabama voters would have the final say on any change in the state’s gambling laws. In 1999, voters defeated a proposed lottery.
Lawmakers did not take a final vote on a bill to outlaw gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors. The Senate-passed bill died after it was put at the end of a debate agenda that lawmakers did not have time to finish before the session adjourned at midnight. The demise of the bill was victory for advocacy groups and transgender youth and their parents who held rallies to oppose it.
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)