The 2021 Legislative Session has kicked off and there's no shortage of important legislation that calls us to act!
With COVID-19 precautions in place, the Alabama State House has limited public access and has implemented an appointment system to meet with lawmakers. Additional enhancements have been made so that the public can view the debate on the floor and in committees this session.
In the first week, a critical repeal of Alabama's Habitual Felony Offender Act, HB 107, was presented to the House Judiciary Committee. By eliminating this "three-strikes" law, we can make more incarcerated individuals eligible for resentencing and reduce the population in Alabama's unconstitutionally overcrowded and violent prisons. After much debate, the bill was referred to the subcommittee on crime for more discussion. The bill is still alive and state legislators will take another vote in the coming weeks.
Additionally, this week on February 10, bills attacking healthcare for trans youth will be on the agenda for the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Health Committee. Last year, this bill passed out of committee, despite evidence that denying best-practice medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening. It has been shown to contribute to depression, social isolation, self-hatred, risk of self-harm and suicidal behavior, and more. These bills also will criminalize Alabama doctors. For simply providing care to trans youth, they may face prosecution for a felony.
Tell members of the House Judiciary Committee to vote "NO" on HB 1 and tell members of the Senate Health Committee to vote "NO" on SB 10 because parents, patients, and medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of any particular young person.
This session is only just getting started but as part of their COVID-19 precautions, the House and Senate will both take a one-week recess next week.
We will be providing more updates throughout the session to keep you informed and involved with the Alabama Legislature!