Alabama Legislative Session Recap
The 2022 Alabama legislative session came to a close just after midnight on Thursday, April 7th. There were a total of 339 bills introduced in the Senate and 534 bills introduced in the House of Representatives. Here are some of the most important pieces of legislation that defined this session and how it will impact Alabamians moving forward.
Bills that failed:
- A Texas SB 8 copycat bill that would have placed bounties on anyone assisting people receiving abortions.
- This bill was a medication abortion ban, criminalizing pills and a procedure known to be safe.
SB 320 & HB 349
- These were both crisis pregnancy center hotline bills that would have created additional hurdles for people seeking abortions, while burdening state budgets and funneling taxpayer dollars to anti-abortion groups.
- This bill would have required all women “of child-bearing age” to produce a pregnancy test from a doctor or laboratory before taking part in otherwise-legal medical marijuana.
- This was a bill that would have prevented so-called “divisive concepts” from being taught in public schools.
- HB 352 would have reduced discrimination for pregnant folks in the workforce. We would have liked to have seen more movement on this bill but we commend Rep. Neil Rafferty (D - Birmingham) for introducing this important legislation.
Bills that have been sent to Governor Ivey:
- This bill was in the running for the worst piece of legislation that passed this year. Sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R - Trussville), it bans gender-affirming health care for minors. Even if a teenager has the cooperation of parents and a physician, they will be forced to go out of state to receive health care that is often vital. Many young people will no longer be able to access the health care they need. This idea was also championed in the House by Rep. Wes Allen (R - Troy), who is running for statewide office this year.
- We’re also disappointed in the final passage of HB 322 by Rep. Scott Stadthagen (R - Hartselle), a "bathroom and locker room bill" that applies to schools and was unfortunately amended to also be a "don't say gay" bill that will constrain the speech and teaching of our public school teachers.
- This bill was a “period poverty” bill, setting up a program to provide free menstrual hygiene products to people in public schools. Sponsored by Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D - Birmingham), it passed with overwhelming support.
- This bill (also by Rep. Hollis) greatly restricts the practice of shackling incarcerated pregnant people while they are giving birth.
The bill to extend Medicaid to a full year postpartum didn't pass as the standalone bill by Rep. Laura Hall (D - Huntsville), but those vital changes and that crucial funding were included in the General Fund budget that was signed into law. Thank you Rep. Hall!
Now that session is over, we encourage you to contact your lawmakers and voice your feelings about how they voted on these important bills. If your legislators did not represent your views adequately, make sure to let them know! And keep those feelings in mind at the polls later this year. Lawmakers actually hear from fewer constituents than you might expect, so a handful of coordinated voices can really make a difference.
While this session led to many undesirable bills for our state, it’s crucial to celebrate the wins we did have and to thank our champions for their dedication to upholding our vision for a better future. Sometimes, we have supporters in surprising places, and we need to thank those folks appropriately so that they know that it’s rewarding to work with us. Although the legislative session is over, our work is never done. Thank you for your support!
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