Highlights from the Final Week of the Legislative Session
May 22, 2017
The 2017 Legislature Session concluded last week. The Legislature met for four days, Tuesday through Friday. On the final 30th day, the House adjourned at 9:05pm on Friday night, and the Senate adjourned at 9:35pm. The Legislature considered major proposals the final week of session.
Prison reform efforts died the final week of session. A special session has been discussed as a possibility to address prisons and other issues.
Legislative redistricting plans for both the House and Senate received final passage last week, despite stalling tactics from some legislators who requested the bills be read at length, which consumed many hours the final week of session.
The House redistricting plans would require 70 of the 105 House districts to be redrawn, and the Senate plans would require 25 of the 35 Senate districts to be redrawn.
Pictured: Senators await the reading of the Legislative Redistricting Bill in the Senate last week.
The General Fund Budget
Governor Kay Ivey signed the General Fund Budget on Friday. The budget would allocate $1.85 billion in spending for the 2018 fiscal year, nearly the same amount of spending as this year. The budget level funds most agencies but does include $93 million in reserves for Medicaid.
Photo Courtesy of Governor’s Office
Education Trust Fund Budget
The Conference Committee made up of three House members and three Senate members reconciled the differences on the two versions of the Education Trust Fund budget. Both Chambers approved the budget Thursday. The Governor signed the Education Trust Fund Budget on Friday.
The bill that would authorize most private insurance companies to cover behavior therapy for children with autism received approval from both Chambers. Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on Friday.
The Midwife Bill
A bill that would legalize midwives in the State received final passage from both Chambers. The bill is on Governor Kay Ivey’s desk. Thirty-seven other states allow the practice of midwives.
Memorial Preservation Act
A bill that would place restrictions on moving monuments and historical structures from public property received final passage and is awaiting Governor Kay Ivey’s signature.
Gun Rights Legislation
A bill that would eliminate the requirement for a permit in order to carry a concealed hand gun in the state failed the last week of session. Legislators and law enforcement remain divided on the issue.