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Reed: Alabama Senate delivers on its priorities at the midpoint of the 2024 legislative session

The Alabama Legislature has been in session for fifteen legislative days, marking the midpoint of the 2024 legislative session. Alabamians work hard each day to provide for their families, and they deserve results from their elected officials.

Before the 2024 legislative session began, Alabama Senate Republicans outlined a vision of legislative priorities we would accomplish this session. The list was long and ambitious, but the Alabama Senate has held true to our word and have passed every single one of them.

Results are being delivered to Alabamians as promised.

The Alabama Senate voted for more secure elections.

Alabama has some of the strongest and most effective election laws in the country. The Alabama Senate is constantly looking for ways to ensure our elections are secure. Senator Garlan Gudger’s Ballot Harvesting bill elevates the seriousness of voter fraud by making it a Class C felony for any third party to knowingly receive gifts handling absentee ballot applications in improper ways. The Alabama Senate ensured your vote counts, and those who try to cheat our system cannot.

The Alabama Senate voted to ban divisive concepts.

We are all made in God’s image, and the qualities that make each of us unique are important and should be admired. However, while we are all unique, we should be looking for opportunities that unite Alabamians and promote togetherness. In that regard, the Alabama Senate passed Senator Will Barfoot’s bill banning taxpayer resources from funding divisive concepts in Alabama public universities, schools, and agencies. His bill prohibits state agencies, schools, and colleges from sponsoring or requiring students and employees to attend or participate in any diversity, equity, and inclusion program, training, orientation, or coursework that advocates for or requires agreement to a divisive concept.

The Alabama Senate voted to help give school families a choice and the right to know what is going on in their children’s classrooms.

One of the most important priorities for Alabama’s future is ensuring quality educations for our young students. Our schools do an incredible job educating our children, and we firmly believe a student’s educational outcome should not be decided by his or her zip code. The Alabama Senate passed the CHOOSE Act sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr that invests in our children’s futures in a fiscally responsible way by allowing school choice options through education savings accounts to families. While giving families school choice options is important, it is also important for parents and guardians to know what their children are learning in the classroom. In the spirit of providing a transparent opportunity for educators and families to work together in a child’s education, the Alabama Senate also passed my Parents’ Right to Know bill.

The Alabama Senate voted to protect life and ease the financial burden on growing Alabama families.

All children are gifts from God, and Alabama has declared loud and clear that we are a pro-life state. A few weeks ago, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that resulted in in vitro fertilization clinics pausing services for women aspiring to be mothers. IVF is a miracle that helps thousands of loving parents across our state start families, and in response to the pause in clinic services for IVF, the Alabama Senate passed a bill sponsored by Senator Tim Melson that provides certain civil and criminal immunities for individuals or entities when providing or receiving services related to IVF. We also want to support growing families and mothers across our state and did so by voting on Senator Orr’s bill that eliminates the state’s 4% sales tax on certain maternity, baby, formula, and menstrual hygiene products. We want to nurture a culture of life in this state, and we will always look for ways to continue to make Alabama the best place for growing families.

The Alabama Senate voted to outlaw illegal gaming operations and give Alabamians the ability to vote on a statewide paper lottery.

Gaming has been a topic of discussion every year I have been in the Alabama Senate. Illegal gambling is happening all across Alabama in our communities without any form of enforcement or regulation. To tackle this issue, the Senate passed a bill sponsored by Senator Greg Albritton that shuts down illegal casinos, increases criminal penalties on illegal operators, prohibits new casinos from being built, and allows the people to vote on a statewide paper lottery.

As you can see, we are working hard to deliver results owed to Alabamians, and we are just getting started.

Greg Reed is President Pro Tempore of the Alabama State Senate, representing the people of District 5. 

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