2017 Legislative Session Summary
June 14, 2017
In general, the 2017 Legislative Session was similar to the past several sessions, with many recurring issues. Once again, the session was beset with distracting legal concerns of top government officials, with the Governor and Chief Justice replaced mid-session. Recurring major legislative topics included the large budget issues of new prison construction, Alabama Medicaid and the stagnant state General Fund, as well as impeachment and tax reform. Due to the session’s unpredictability, certain of these issues – like dilapidated prisons and the state General Fund – remain unresolved and may surface in a special session. If a special session does occur, it would mark the third consecutive year with a special session and the fourth special session in three years.
The Legislature addressed several new issues, including a monuments removal bill, mandated insurance coverage for autism therapy, and an increase in the tax on gasoline. After a federal court struck down portions of the House and Senate re-districting legislation in 2017, the Legislature was forced to revisit and reapportion the affected districts. While new districts were re-drawn and passed by the Legislature, it is anticipated that the new districts will be subject to renewed litigation. The House proposed plan can be viewed here and the Senate plan here.
Pictured: Map courtesy of Legislative Reapportionment Office.