Alabama lawmakers

Alabama Lawmakers Purging Racist Language from Constitution

MONTGOMERY, Ala, (AP) – Alabama’s constitution still says white and colored children cannot attend school together. State lawmakers are finally working to remove such racist language. The constitution was approved in 1901 to enshrine white supremacy. Remnants of Jim Crow laws remain even though more than half a century has passed since federal courts outlawed segregated schools, bans on mixed-race…

Alabama Protest Bill Approved over Objections

Satura Dudley holds up her fist during a protest of HB445 at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala.,  (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP) MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have approved a bill to stiffen penalties for participating in riots and traffic-blocking demonstrations.  But Black lawmakers and advocacy groups sharply criticized the legislation Thursday, saying they fear it will…

In Alabama, a Vote to Keep Confederate Monument Protections

The statue atop the Confederate monument outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville is lifted away from the monument early Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 in Huntsville, Ala. (Paul Gattis/al.com via AP) MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have rejected legislation that would give cities and counties in the Deep South state a possible avenue to take down Confederate monuments and…

Alabama Considering Banning Drug Treatment for Transgender Kids

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a felony for doctors to treat transgender youth with hormonal therapy, puberty blockers, and surgery to help their transition. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing Wednesday afternoon on the bill by Republican Rep. Wes Allen. The bill would prohibit the use of puberty-blocking drugs, hormonal…

Virus, Prison Crisis and Gambling Before Lawmakers in 2021

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama lawmakers will return to Montgomery for the 2021 regular session, which will be conducted differently because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers convene at noon Tuesday. Republican lawmakers have said a top priority will be legislation to shield companies and others from civil lawsuit liability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alabama lawmakers will also have to draw…

House Approves Parole Board Changes, Sentence Minimums

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Following concern about the release of violent offenders, Alabama’s House of Representatives has approved legislation to give the governor more control of the state parole board. Representatives voted 73-27 for the bill Thursday after contentious debate. It now moves to the Senate. Under the bill, the governor would appoint the Parole Board director. It would also…

House Approves $85 Million for Prison Improvements

Alabama lawmakers have approved an $85 million increase for the state’s prison system as they try to comply with a federal court order to improve mental health care for inmates. The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved $30 million for the Department of Corrections before September and a $55 million boost in next year’s general fund budget. U.S. District Judge…

House Delays Vote on Gasoline Tax Increase

Alabama lawmakers delayed a vote on a proposed gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge construction after the bill ran into heavy opposition. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Thursday that the bill is likely dead for the session. Under the proposal, the state gas tax would have risen by four cents per gallon this year and another two…

House Passes Bill Protecting Religious Adoption Agencies

Lawmakers have voted to add Alabama to the list of states that protect faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or in certain other households. The House of Representatives passed the bill 60-14 Thursday. The legislation would prohibit the state from refusing to license or sign contracts with faith-based adoption groups that decline to make placements…