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What’s on tap for Wednesday, February 23

It’s a committee and Legislative day at the State House. A few things to expect:

  • The first vote on 2023 budgets is expected this morning when the Senate General Fund committee meets at 10:30 a.m. Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed $2.7 billion General Fund is about $300 million more than the current year’s spending.
  • The House Judiciary Committee meets at 1:30 p.m. and has a public hearing on a bill to ban medical procedures or medications for transgender youth. House Bill 266 is sponsored by Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy. A Senate version of the bill has been approved in committee and awaits a vote in that chamber.
  • Also at 1:30 p.m., the House Municipal and County Government Committee is expected to vote on a bill making it more difficult for local governments to cut funding for law enforcement agencies. House Bill 111, the Police Funding Protection Act, says “no governing body of any county or municipality shall reduce the operating budget of its respective law enforcement agency by more than 20 percent in a 10-year period unless the governing body can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the operating budget reduction was a fiscally appropriate decision as a result of a decrease in revenues.” The bill by Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Pike Road, was carried over earlier this month.
  • The Senate convenes at 3 p.m., the House at 4 p.m.
  • A bill to require Alabama public school students to attend kindergarten or take an assessment to go directly to first grade is expected to get a House vote this afternoon. House Bill 331 is Rep. Pebblin Warren’s latest effort to require more 5-year-olds to attend kindergarten. She’s picked up some GOP support over the years and last year the bill was approved in the House and a Senate committee but died without a final vote in the Senate. The bill would increase kindergarten enrollment by about 5,000 students annually, according to a fiscal note.
  • Rep. Terri Collins’ bill to delay the holdback provision of the Alabama Literacy Act is on the House floor today. We’ll see if there’s a substitute offered from the result of her talks with Sen. Smitherman.

 

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