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2024 Alabama Regular Legislative Session begins with ambitious agenda

By Brandon Mosely Feb 9, 2024

This was Ivey’s seventh state of the state address and the crowd.

“During my inaugural address, I promised the people of Alabama that ensuring every Alabama student receives a high-quality education would be my number one focus during this term,” Ivey said. “After I was sworn in for my second term, I established the Governor’s Commission on Teaching and Learning. The Commission provided a report that will serve as our blueprint for improving student outcomes over the next three years. Chief among those recommendations is fully funding both the Numeracy and Literacy Acts. Our teachers are being trained in the science of math and reading, and we are preparing them not only to teach our kids today, but also of the future. All the work we have done through the Numeracy and Literacy Acts is critical to our success.”

“I am very proud of the fact that during my time serving as your governor, together, we have invested a new historic amount in our public schools each year,” said Ivey. “This year, we will, once again, have the largest Education Trust Fund in our state’s history.”

“As governor, I realize the way to do that is to make sure there are opportunities available for our children,” Ivey said. “For some families, that means having the chance to send their child to a charter, magnet or private school, or to homeschool them. School choice is a spectrum, and last year, we recognized that to expand our options in Alabama, we had to first improve our existing options – charter schools and the Alabama Accountability Act. You accomplished that – thank you. Now, our next step is to provide our parents, beginning with those most in need, education savings accounts, which will further us on our journey to become the most school-choice friendly state in the nation.”

The Governor’s education savings bill is being carried by both of the education budget chairman: Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and State. Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville). This legislation is being opposed by the teachers unions.

Alabama House Democratic Caucus announced their opposition to both the school choice and the ballot harvesting bills.

The Alabama House Democratic Caucus released their own legislative agenda on Wednesday. The Alabama House Democrats’ 2024 Legislative Agenda is entitled “Vision for Progress”.Their plan includes more workforce training, expanding Medicaid, allowing more felons to vote, spending more funds on turning around the poorest performing public schools, repealing permitless carry of firearms, and making absentee voting easier…..among others.

The House Study Group on Gaming, which has been holding secret meetings that were closed to the public for months, released their 150 page bill to legalize as many as ten state licensed casinos in select counties, while creating a new special police enforcement division to close smaller existing casinos. The bill would also allow sports betting and create an Alabama lottery. Sponsors are trying to force a vote on the bill as soon as next week.

The Legislature meets in the State house, which is across the street from the historic 1859 Capitol Building. A new state house is under construction in what used to be the parking lot to the east of the existing State House.

Thursday will be day 3 of the 2024 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.

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