What do you mean January is almost already over?! 2023 is off to a swift start, which means that we are steadily approaching “lege session”.
This Month: It's A New Year!
This year, Alabama’s 2023 Legislative Session begins on March 7. State legislative sessions are a yearly occurrence where elected lawmakers come together to introduce and pass new bills. Passed bills are sent to the Governor’s desk where they can be vetoed or signed into law.
“Lege session” is a very important time for our state because bills can (and have) been introduced that threaten Alabamians’ civil rights and civil liberties. Over the past three legislative sessions alone, we have seen numerous bills that severely target voting rights, reproductive freedom, and gender justice. These bills have openly aimed to strip and limit our basic freedoms.
Since we expect to see similar challenges this year, our office is currently in preparation mode. We remain a watchdog of these attacks and committed to fighting for a just Alabama for everyone. Expect updates for ways you can advocate for Alabamians’ voting rights, reproductive freedom, and civil liberties.
Read our 2022 Alabama Statehouse-to-Prison Pipeline report to learn how bills introduced and passed during the 2022 legislative session invested in the carceral state and affect everyday Alabamians' safety, health, and well-being.
Also, stay tuned for our 2023 Werk The Lege Session, which will be our latest community teach-in that prepares Alabamians for the upcoming legislative session.
Alabama News You Should Know
- In recognition of a new quadrennium, Alabama's organizational session began on January 10. Organizational sessions, which occur once every four years, allow the Alabama Legislature to elect House and Senate leaders and decide rules of procedure.
- Alabama Governor Ivey recently imposed an executive order that makes it harder for people incarcerated in state prisons to acquire and retain "good time". By enacting harsh restrictions on "good time", Alabama officials signify that their focus is still on punishment — rather than rehabilitation and restoration.
- The Alabama Supreme Court removed the state's requirement of mandatory "plain error" review. This appellate rule change is unnecessary, dangerous, and will lead to wrongfully convicted people being executed.
- Alison Mollman, our Senior Counsel, was quoted as saying, "A majority of people on death row did not receive adequate representation at trial and had attorneys who failed to object to egregious constitutional violations." She went on to further explain the gravity of this change. "We had this rule for 44 years. Our courts and our legislature recognized we needed it. Six people changed the rule we've had for 44 years. We should all be uncomfortable with that."
We want to connect with YOU this legislative session!