Alabama’s session winding down as lawmakers focus on large pieces of legislation

Alabama lawmakers have just seven days left in the regular session to tackle a number of large...
Alabama lawmakers have just seven days left in the regular session to tackle a number of large pieces of legislation. File photo shown here is from a Feb. 24, 2022 event in the legislature to mark Military Appreciation Day.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery from their spring break with just seven days left in the legislative session. Both the general fund and education budget await final passage, but there are other large items that are making moves in the statehouse.

Education and gambling are two pieces of legislation expected to hold a majority of legislators’ attention as the session winds down. With bills in both chambers, that increases the chances of some form of gaming being approved in Alabama.

“Every time I say something to a House member leadership or otherwise, their response has been A: we’re not gonna deal with it. B: we don’t want to deal with it. C: it’s too late. D: it’s an election year,” said Sen. Greg Albritton, sponsor of two gambling bills.

Albritton’s bills give the state control of existing gaming, implement casino-style games, limit the number of slot machines at certain locations, and create a lottery. Revenue would go to education, and that’s the only thing in common with the versions in the House. Those bills only create a statewide lottery.

“The lottery is a good thing,” said Albritton. “We’ve got to get control of gaming that’s already here.”

Major changes could come to Alabama’s education system as the Numeracy Act is up for final passage in the House Tuesday. This legislation focuses on improving K-5 math scores.

A charter school funding bill that will allow county tax revenue to move from a public school to a charter school is sitting in a House committee, and the bill that bans divisive concepts from being taught, something Democrats adamantly oppose, is on the move to the Senate.

“We are taking care of fighting for individuals to be able to talk history, and both sides of history, and not just sugarcoat it to where you talk about the good, but you don’t talk about the bad,” explained House minority leader Anthony Daniels.

Lawmakers are looking at a full plate of pending legislation and a dwindling legislative calendar.

“It’ll probably be a little bit contentious, but we’ll get through it,” said Rep. Randall Shedd, Chair of the House Republican Caucus Platform Committee.

Lawmakers plan to officially finish the session by mid-April.

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