Several bills passed this week inside Alabama legislature

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State lawmakers return to work next week to continue discussions and possible votes on several controversial bills, but also a bill that could put more money back in your pocket.

House Democrats say expanding access to health care is a focus as they finish out the legislative session.

“We define prosperity as not just a measure of wealth, but it is an inclusive, diverse, and equitable community in which people are healthy, flourishing, free, and empowered to achieve their aspirations,” said Rep. Rolanda Hollis, D-Jefferson County.

In the Senate, Republicans passed a bill prohibiting governmental entities from entering into contracts with companies that boycott other companies due to certain environmental-social governance standards.

“It’s one that is at a national level that is ours to deal with here in the state of Alabama. We’ve got a lot of challenging themes and topics that are always issues that that we have to deal with,” said Gred Reed, Senate President Pro Tempore.

“We may think that it helps business. But the unintended consequences, I think, will be that business will draw away from Alabama,” said Senator Bobby Singleton, the Senate’s minority leader.

After years of debate, Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter says a bill to reduce the state’s grocery tax will be on the floor for a vote by the end of next week. With 100 co-sponsors, the bipartisan bill could pass. The bill will work by reducing half a percent per year if there is a 2% positive growth in the education budget.

“We’ll still have the debate like we’ve had in the past few weeks. But I think we’re in a good position, and I feel good about where we’re headed in the last few days,” said Ledbetter.

The Senate also passed a bill that initially banned Chinese individuals from buying property in Alabama. The bill now focuses on certain foreign governments, including China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

With seven legislative days left, lawmakers must pass both the Education Trust Fund and General Fund budget before the end of the session.

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