Welcome to our March newsletter! The Alabama Legislature is currently on a break and will reconvene next week on Monday, March 28. With the break being only a week long, we remain watchful of multiple bills that are moving in the Alabama House and Senate.
This Month: Legislative Round-Up
Anti-transgender youth bills, House Bill 266 and Senate Bill 184, were passed out of the House Judiciary Committee with a favorable report on March 2, 2022. Since SB 184 has already passed the Senate, it only has one final vote on the Alabama House floor. If passed and signed into law by Governor Ivey, the ACLU of Alabama will see the state in court.
Anti-protest bills, House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 3, have not moved since late February. These companion bills seek to scare Alabamians into not exercising their First Amendment rights by imposing harsh criminal penalties on people engaged in protest. They would also deter counties and municipalities that prioritize other budget priorities over the police. We will continue to monitor any movement on these bills.
Voter rights restoration bill, Senate Bill 6, was assigned to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee last week and received a unanimously favorable report. This is a bill that we support because our democracy is strongest when every person has their voice heard. Thousands of Alabamians who are home, working, paying taxes, going to school, and contributing to their communities cannot vote because they still owe money on past convictions, even though they have completed all the terms of their sentence.
Read more about these bills and others on our website at aclualabama.org/2022lege.
We need our elected officials to hold the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles accountable for their parole decisions, especially while Alabama’s prison system remains unconstitutionally overcrowded and the subject of litigation by the Department of Justice. During the parole hearings held in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2022, the Board followed its own guidelines in only 32% of cases.
Last year, we worked to fight against direct attacks on our communities. Some key moments include:
- The anti-transgender youth bills that are currently sitting in the Alabama Legislature has received both national and state media coverage over the past weeks. Here in Alabama, read these op-eds, which were recently published this month that speak to the very real impact that these harmful bills would have on young Alabamians.
Dr. Nola Jean Ernest is an Alabama community pediatrician who speaks to the importance of having gender-affirming care from medically trained professionals in AL.com and the Alabama Political Reporter.
- Earlier this month, the Alabamians for Fair Justice coalition held a lobby day to raise awareness about Alabama’s ongoing parole crisis. Rep. Chris England joined their press conference to share his filled legislation, House Bill 57, which would establish legislative oversight over Alabama’s parole board.
- House Bill 194 would make it a crime for local voter education organizations to provide funds for programming or to collaborate with their local election offices on any type of voter outreach. We oppose this bill. When organizing efforts are becoming stronger and more local, lawmakers are now seeking to suppress not just access to the ballot, but to criminalize the critical work that organizers do to help voters navigate complicated voting laws.
There’s only a few more weeks left in the 2022 legislative session, but we will continue to provide summarized updates on social media and in your inbox. Follow along with us to be aware of how you can take action to support or oppose these bills.