Alabama Senate

Alabama House approves medical marijuana bill

May 6, 2021
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After many hours of debate, the Alabama House of Representatives has passed a medical marijuana bill.

It was passed 68-34 and now goes back to the Senate to have changes approved.

The bill would allow people with qualifying medical conditions to purchase marijuana with a recommendation from a doctor.

If approved by the Senate, the bill will be brought to Gov. Kay Ivey to be signed into law. 

State weighs pause in 3rd grade promotion reading test

Apr 29, 2021


Alabama lawmakers are considering pausing reading assessments usually required of third graders because of school disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The requirement is set to begin next year to assess students' reading levels before moving onto fourth grade.

The House Education Policy Committee debated the bill by Sen. Rodger Smitherman that would delay the requirement by two years. Chairwoman Terri Collins said the committee will vote next week.

The bill has already been passed by the Alabama Senate. 

police car lights


The Alabama Senate passed a bill that would require police to record racial data during traffic stops.

It was approved with a 19-7 vote and will now move to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Bill would ban state enforcement of federal gun laws

Apr 15, 2021


A bill has made its way through the Alabama Senate that would make it a misdemeanor for an officer to enforce any new federal gun restrictions.

The bill passed 21-5 and now moves to the House of Representatives.

The bill by Republican Sen. Gerald Allen would restrict police officers from enforcing a new federal law or executive order that regulates firearms, ammunition, or firearm accessories.

Medical marijuana bill heads to key House vote

Apr 15, 2021


Legalization of medical marijuana once again has forward momentum in the Alabama Legislature.

The House Health Committee approved a bill by Republican Sen. Tim Melson on Thursday, and it will now move to the Alabama House of Representatives for debate.

The proposal would allow people with qualifying medical conditions to purchase marijuana after getting a recommendation from a doctor. The Alabama Senate already passed the bill in a vote of 21-8.

Alabama House approves alcohol delivery bill

Apr 2, 2021
wine alcohol


Alcohol delivery may soon be coming to Alabama.

The House of Representatives voted 79-12 on a revised bill that was passed by the Alabama Senate. The Senate will now vote on the changes and will either aprrove the bill or send it to a conference committee.

The beverages could only be delivered to people who are 21 or older by retailers licensed to deliver. Limits would also be placed on how much could be delivered in a 24-hour period.

Special election called to fill vacant Alabama House seat

Mar 9, 2021
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Danny Johnston / AP


Gov. Kay Ivey has set the date for a special election to fill a newly empty seat in the Alabama House.

Kirk Hatcher of District 78 was elected to the state Senate leaving south, west and north Montgomery without a representative.

The special primary election will be Tuesday, May 25, and the deadline for qualifying with major political parties will be 5 p.m. March 23. Independent candidates will have until May 25 at 5 p.m.

Alabama Senate approves treatment ban for trans kids

Mar 3, 2021
transgender legislation
Associated Press


The Alabama Senate passed a bill that would make it a felony for a doctor to treat transgender youth with puberty blockers, hormone therapy or surgery.

The Republican Sen. Shay Shelnutt-sposored bill was approved with a vote of 23-4 and will now move to the Alabama House of Representatives.

Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana bill

Feb 25, 2021
Wikimedia Commons


Medical marijuana legislation has been approved by the Alabama Senate in a 21-8 vote.

The proposal will now move to the House of Representatives where similar bills have been voted down before.

Lottery, casino debate delayed for at least two weeks

Feb 24, 2021


The Alabama Senate will have to wait to vote on a lottery and casino bill.

Republican sponsor Sen. Del Marsh said he is spending the next two weeks working on the proposal. He said one issue being discussed is the increased amount of casinos sites from eight to 10. One idea he has is to allow one site in each of Alabama's seven congressional districts and three Native American sites.

There are five states that do not have a state lottery including Alabama.


The Alabama Legislature is debating a lottery and casino bill today.

The bill by Republican Sen. Del Marsh is being considered by the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee. It proposes a state lottery and five casinos with table games, sports betting and slot machines. Most of the casinos would be located at existing dog tracks.

Voters would have to approve the proposal. The last time Alabamians voted on gambling was in 1999 when they defeated a lottery proposed by then-Gov. Don Siegelman.

Lawmakers fast-track COVID-19 liability protection bill

Feb 4, 2021


The Alabama Senate passed a bill that provides businesses and others protection from liability in coronavirus-related lawsuits.

The legislation now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives after being approved without debate on a 27-1 vote in the Senate.

Republican Sen. Arthur Orr said the bill would protect companies, churches and other entities from virus-related claims if they were following appropriate COVID-19 precautions.

Hatcher defeats Knight in Alabama Senate runoff election

Dec 16, 2020

Rep. Kirk Hatcher defeated Rep. John Knight in the Democratic runoff for an Alabama Senate seat.

The seat became vacant after Sen. David Burkette pleaded guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance charges and resigned in September. 

Hatcher won with 74 percent of the vote on Tuesday and will face Republican state Rep. William Greene in a special election on March 2. 

The seat represents state district 26, which includes much of Montgomery County.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Longtime Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh says he will not seek reelection in 2022. 

Marsh told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday that he was ready to move on after more than two decades in Montgomery.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said Wednesday that the state’s coronavirus relief funds will not be used to build a new Statehouse, putting to rest the idea that drew an immediate backlash. 

Alabama State Legislature


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers will not vote on controversial proposals that would limit the state health officer’s powers to order closures and give immunity to companies for coronavirus-related lawsuits. 

The bills are expected to return in the next legislative session after this one was cut short because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Associated Press


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have advanced pared down state budgets because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The House Ways and Means Education Committee advanced a $7.2 billion education budget that skips a 3% pay raise lawmakers had hoped to give teachers and public school employees.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have adjourned the 2020 legislative session until late April as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state neared 1,000. 

Lawmakers met briefly in Montgomery in order to approve the break until April 28. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said lawmakers will likely pass “bare bones” budgets when they return because of the economic uncertainty.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A medical marijuana bill cleared its first floor vote in the Alabama Legislature as advocates hope to make headway after years of setbacks.

Senators voted 22-11 for the bill that now heads to the House of Representatives.

The measure would allow people with a doctor's recommendation to use medical marijuana for 15 conditions — including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain. It also would let them purchase cannabis products at one of 34 licensed dispensaries.

The sponsor of the legislation said he's optimistic about its chances. 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers approved additional money for coronavirus testing and response to increase the number of people being screened for the rapidly spreading illness.

The Alabama Senate approved a $5 million supplemental appropriation for the Alabama Department of Public Health to fund coronavirus preparations Thursday.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has passed a bill that would ban gender therapies such as prescription hormones or gender confirmation surgery for minors.

The legislation would make it a felony for medical providers to prescribe puberty-blockers or hormones to anyone under age 19, or perform gender confirmation surgery on them. It passed 22-3 and now heads to the House of Representatives.

Right now in Alabama, people accused with some of the most serious crimes in the state are allowed out on bail. One state senator is working to keep violent offenders who are charged with these crimes locked up longer. But, in this journalism collaboration with the commercial news team at WVUA23-TV, some say there are unintended consequences in what seems like a law and order issue.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters will decide next week whether to do away with the elected state school board and replace it with an appointed commission.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has championed the change, called Amendment 1 on Tuesday's ballot.

Supports say it will put education experts in charge of education policy. Opponents say it would strip citizens' of the ability to directly choose whose in charge.

Fayette Animal Shelter

(MONTGOMERY, AL)-- A new Senate bill would put the regulations of animal enterprises and working animals in the hands of the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The Working Animal Protection and Animal Enterprise Freedom Act, introduced on Tuesday, would also alter cruelty reporting, impoundment procedures, and penalties for frivolous complaints. 


A proposal in the Alabama Legislature would prohibit cities from enacting new occupational taxes without approval of lawmakers.

The House of Representatives voted 74-27 Tuesday to approve the bill that now moves to the Alabama Senate. The measure comes as the city of Montgomery explores the possibility of creating a 1% occupational tax.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster announced Monday that he's running for Alabama Supreme Court.

Ward said he will run for associate justice in 2020. This is his first run for statewide office. The seat is currently held by Justice Greg Shaw.

A prominent member of the Alabama Senate, Ward is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is best known for spearheading prison and criminal justice reform efforts and advocating for the autism community.

The latest fallout related to Alabama’s new abortion law could occur this week in Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama's board of trustees will consider whether to return a record $21.5M gift. The donor encouraged students to boycott the university following passage of Alabama’s controversial abortion law that makes performing an abortion a felony in virtually all cases.

The legal battle over the Alabama’s abortion ban officially got underway last week. Both the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Southeast filed suit on behalf of the state’s three abortion clinics. They say the new law is blatantly unconstitutional. But lawmakers say that was the plan all along.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on what’s next for Alabama’s controversial abortion ban.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama could soon end its status as one of two states without an equal pay for equal work law.

The Alabama Senate voted 29-0 Wednesday to approve the bill by Rep. Adline Clarke of Mobile.

The bill now returns to the Alabama House of Representatives where lawmakers will decide whether to accept a Senate change to the bill.

Clarke says she hopes to get final passage in the closing days of the session.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to call a special session as the state attempts to respond to scathing Department of Justice findings regarding state prisons.

Leaders of both parties held a Thursday press conference to discuss legislators' attempts to respond to the Justice Department.

abortion protest
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser via AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion Tuesday, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor.

The GOP-dominated Senate voted 25-6 to make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.

Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. The amendment was voted down 21-11, with four Republicans joining Democrats.