2023 Alabama legislative session

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The 2023 Alabama legislative session began with an "organizational session" starting on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. The regular session began on Tuesday March 7, but was quickly recessed in order to accommodate a Special Session called by the Governor. Regular business resumed on Tuesday, March 21.

Thirty-one new representatives and 6 new state senators who won office in the 2022 general election were sworn in for the first time. The Alabama House of Representatives consisted of 77 Republican members (76 of them white) and 28 Democrats (26 of them Black), and was presided over by Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-District 24, Rainsville), who appointed chairs for all House legislative committees. The Alabama State Senate had a 27-8 Republican majority (all 27 Republicans being white and 7 of 8 Democrats being Black), and was chaired by Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, with Greg Reed (R-District 5, Jasper) serving as senator pro tem.

Among the other major issues taken up during the 2022 session were allocation of $580 million in federal relief funds distributed under the American Rescue Plan Act, part of which had already been committed to prison construction ($400 million) and hospitals ($80 million) in a 2021 special session. The legislature was expected to raise salaries for teachers and state employees. House Republicans are pushing a "Standing Tall for Alabama" agenda, the highlights of which include outlawing "critical race theory" in public schools, raising assault charges against first responders to automatic felonies, and eliminating the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm (a measure largely opposed by Sheriffs).

The session on April 4 was addressed by Angel Tîlvăr, Minister of National Defense minister of România. Tîlvăr urged Alabama businesses to invest in his country and commended the United States' commitment to national defense.

Notable Acts

Business incentives

A package of bills collectively termed "The Game Plan" by Governor Ivey's office would expand the state's investment in economic development projects by extending and increasing funding for tax incentive programs and other recruitment tools offered to private companies who operate in Alabama. Ivey signs all four bills into law on April 20, 2023.

Individual house bills included in "The Game Plan" include:

Other legislation passed during the session which relates to business recruitment and economic development included:


The House unanimously passed a $3,023,998,315 general fund budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The budget included a 2% cost-of-living raise for state employees (budgeted at $14.5 million), and bumps of around 6% to 13% for many state agencies (budgeted at $50 million).

New individual appropriations included $3,795,000 for increasing payments to jurors; $675,000 for a feral swine program; $5,000,000 for electric vehicle infrastructure planning grants; $300,000 for structure repairs in Faunsdale, Marengo County; $20,459,059 as a state match for federal funds for drinking water infrastructure projects; $31,468,090 increase for ALL Kids Insurance for Children; a $686,669 increase in funding for maintenance and repairs to the state capitol and Governor's mansion; $2,500,000 for the Freedom Farm group home for foster children in Coker; $500,000 for 988 call center upgrades; a $3,000,000 increase for rural crisis care programs; a $7,500,000 increase to funds available for community providers; $2,000,000 for the Armory Commission of Alabama; a $6,769,419 increase for the Alabama Department of Senior Services; a $500,000 increase for the Alabama Department of Youth Services; a $317,025 increase for distribution of public documents; an $894,000 increase for emergency active duty military wages; and a $5,600,000 allocation to the State Employees Insurance Board.

Governor Ivey signed the major budget bills on June 1.

Criminal code

  • Act of Alabama No. 2023-4, increased the mandatory minimum prison sentences for criminal convictions involving fentanyl. It was introduced as "House Bill 1" by Matt Simpson (R-District 96) and passed unanimously in both houses. It was signed into law on April 6. (link)
  • Act of Alabama No. 2023-22, the "Deputy Brad Johnson Act", restricted the accrual of "correctional incentive time" by which certain state prisoners could qualify for reduced sentences by demonstrating good behavior. It was introduced as "Senate Bill 1" by April Weaver (R-District 14) and was signed into law on April 14. (link)
  • Act of Alabama No. 2023-93, made it a crime to smoke or vape in an enclosed motor vehicle when a minor under 14 years old is a passenger. It was introduced as "House Bill 3" by Rolanda Hollis (D-District 58) and signed by Governor Ivey on May 2. (link)
  • Act of Alabama No. 2023-128, sponsored by Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-District 18 made it a crime punishable by fine and civil damages to collect, disclose, or release "certain personal information about members of, volunteers for, and financial and nonfinancial donors to nonprofit organizations," except as otherwise required by law. It was signed by Governor Ivey on May 9. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-245, sponsored in the House by Representative Reed Ingram (R-District 75) modified the state law against loitering to include occupation of a public road or right-of-way maintained by the state, and to clarify that police may direct beggars to leave the area or transport them to a facility offering services to the homeless rather than arresting them on a 1st offense. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on May 24. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-336, co-sponsored in the Senate by 9 members, loosened the definition of "contraband" with regard to detention facilities and removed an exemption from prosecution applying to juveniles. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on May 24. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-337, co-sponsored in the Senate by Merika Coleman (D-District 19) and Will Barfoot (R-District 25), narrowed the conditions under which judges could revoke driver's licenses from individuals charged with crimes who fail to appear or to pay fines or fees. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-361, sponsored in the House by Representative Debbie Wood (R-District 37), extends the definition of "peace officer" to include "any officer or employee of the federal government vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for crimes" in the context of existing state law against impersonation. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-367, co-sponsored in the House by Representative Wes Kitchens (R-District 27), stipulates that a person is not eligible for parole if they have been charged with another state or federal crime with a potential sentence of 12 months or longer. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-369, co-sponsored in the House by 15 members, created a crime of "doxing", defined as intentionally publishing, posting or providing personal identifying information of another individual or their family members, "with the intent that others will use that information to harass or harm that other individual," or impede the duties of a "law enforcement officer, firefighter, or public servant." The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-370, sponsored in the House by Representative Tracy Estes (R-District 70) made it a felony to discharge a firearm on school property unless a minor, a person acting in self-defense, or a participant in a sanctioned activity which involves the use of firearms. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-387, sponsored in the House by Representatives Chris Pringle (R-District 101), Kerry Underwood (R-District 3) and Matt Simpson (R-District 96) extends the definition of manslaughter to include the sale or provision of controlled substances that cause a death, with an exemption for licensed health care practitioners. The bill was signed by Governor Ivey on June 1. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-396, sponsored in the House by Representatives Prince Chestnut (D-District 67), Kelvin Lawrence (D-District 69) and Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-District 53) made it a crime for any individual to require another individual to be implanted with a microchip. The bill was enacted without the Governor's signature on June 2. (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-486, sponsored in the House by Representatives Matt Simpson (D-District 96) created the crime of "chemical endangerment 18of a first responder". (link)
  • Act of Alabama 2023-486, sponsored in the House by Representatives Ron Bolton (D-District 61) barred "aliens unlawfully in the United States or aliens admitted under a nonimmigrant visa" from possessing firearms. (link)



Other proposed legislation

Senator Andrew Jones (R-District 10) introduced a "Family Income Protection Act" which would prohibit municipalities from collecting occupational taxes. Senator Linda Madison-Coleman (D-D20) introduced an amendment which would exclude Class I municipalities, a category which consists solely of the City of Birmingham, from the bill.

Senator Larry Stutts (R-District 6) introduced a "Parental Rights in Children's Education (PRICE) Act" which would allow for the establishment of "education savings accounts" with up to $6,900 in public funds per child to offset the cost of private school or home-schooling for parents who withdraw their children from public schools. (report). A similar bill, called the "Students with Unique Needs (SUN) Act, was filed in the House of Representatives by Danny Garrett (R-District 44). It would offer $5,600 education savings accounts to up to 300 students, focusing on unhoused or foster children, or children of active duty military personnel or those killed in action.

House Bill 209, sponsored by Jamie Kiel (R-District 18) would have prohibited people from being paid to assist others to obtain or complete absentee ballots. Kiel worked with Secretary of State Wes Allen to draft the bill's language, which he said would prevent "ballot harvesting". It passed the House on a party line 76-28 vote, but was not taken up by the Senate.

House Bill 372, described as a "clean up bill," by sponsor Chris Pringle (R-District 101) would have made changes to the Legislative Council and given it the authority "to contract with an appropriate party, including, but not limited to, the Retirement Systems of Alabama" to construct and maintain a new State House building. Other clauses would have eliminated existing laws related to challenges to elections for legislative seats, and exempted contracts for legal services to the Attorney General involving litigation from review by the legislature's Contract Review Permanent Legislative Oversight Committee.

Representative Arnold Mooney (R-District 43) introduced HB-401, which would expand current obscenity laws to allow "any premises" to be declared public nuisance if it permits the distribution, communication or performance of anything "harmful to minors", including "sexual content" which would specifically include, "male or female impersonators, commonly known as drag queens or drag kings," ... "in K-12 public schools, public libraries, and in other public places where minors are present."

Representative Susan DuBose (R-District 45) introduced a "What is a Woman Act" (HB 405), to legally define the terms "man", "woman", "boy", "girl", "father", "mother", "male", "female", and "sex" to specifically disallow recognition of transsexual or transgender persons.

Special sessions

American Rescue Act funds

With the legislature having recessed that morning for two weeks, Governor Ivey called a Special Session to begin at 1:00 PM on March 8 to authorize the distribution of a second tranche of federal funds allocated to the state under the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, and intended to offset unplanned public costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the second allocation was $1.06 billion. Funds from the first allocation were already assigned to prison construction, expansion of broadband internet, and various water and sewer projects.

  • Act of Alabama No. 2023-1, appropriated $1,060,181,797.72 in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. Specific appropriations included $400 million for water and sewer projects, $339 million for healthcare (including $100 million for hospitals), $260 million for broadband internet access, and $55 million for a community grant program. The Governor's proposals went largely unchanged in the special session, and the measure was signed into law on March 16. (link)


On June 8, 2023 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Allen v. Milligan to affirm a decision issued by a three-judge panel in January 2022 that Alabama's congressional district map, drawn in November 2021 with data from the 2020 U.S. Census, unlikely to comply with the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Supreme Court thereby lifted their earlier stay of the ruling and returned the matter to the panel to issue further orders.

That panel set a July 21 deadline for the state to adopt a compliant districting plan for the 2024 general election. Governor Ivey called a special session to begin on July 17 to vote on a new map. The legislature's Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment, co-chaired by Representative Chris Pringle (R-District 101) and Senator Steve Livingston (R-District 8), held a public hearing on July 13 and subsequently voted 14-6 in the Senate and 74-27 in the House, both along party lines, to adopt versions of a "Communities of Interest Plan" which kept District 7 as the only majority-Black district. The two versions were reconciled in a conference committee and the result passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Ivey on Friday, July 21. The 3-judge panel that found the 2021 map unconstitutional held a hearing on August 14 to determine if the state's revisions complied with their order.


External links