The Alabama House Republican Caucus announced Thursday the measures that will be included in its official legislative agenda for the 2017 regular session. Titled the “Alabama Proud,” the legislative agenda seeks to highlight, improve and protect the aspects that make the state of Alabama “a special place to live, work, and raise our children.”
“Alabamians are a fiercely proud people who appreciate the traditions, qualities, and deeply held conservative beliefs that make our state unique,” said Decatur-Republican and House Majority Leader Micky Hammon. “Our agenda demonstrates that members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus share the deep pride in our state, especially the strong progress that has been made in areas like education, economic development, and protecting traditional values.”
Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon reiterated the progress the Caucus has made over the past several years.
“The House Republican Caucus is proud to serve the people of our state and is equally proud to continue our efforts to uphold the rights, values, and beliefs that Alabamians hold dear,” McCutcheon added. “We have taken the time to listen to the people of Alabama and based on their feedback, I believe they will be proud to support the initiatives in this agenda.”
The “Alabama Proud” legislative agenda includes includes the following priorities:
- Pride in our teachers and students: Prioritized funding for the state’s nationally-recognized “First Class” Pre-Kindergarten program. Also support for the implementation of the Electronic Notification System recommended by the School Safety Task Force and will take steps to ensure it is available to all school districts across Alabama.
- Pride in our borders: legislation that would reinforce and strengthen existing law by withholding funding from any cities, counties, or public colleges and universities that defy immigration laws and declare themselves “sanctuary” areas that harbor illegal aliens.
- Pride in our history: legislation that would prevent the removal of long-standing monuments, statues and memorials and a bill that requires mandatory civics education and makes successful passage of a citizenship exam a prerequisite for high school graduation.
- Pride in Alabama values: the House Republican leadership will schedule a “Pro-Life Day” within the session and include two important measures on the work agenda – a constitutional amendment declaring Alabama a pro-life state so we will be prepared to take action when Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a bill protecting doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel from being forced to perform abortion procedures that violate their moral beliefs.
- Pride in economic development: a measure calling upon the governor to revive the Office of Small Business Development and provide business owners with a one-stop shop to fill their needs, answer their questions, and assist them with various governmental requirements.
- Pride in government reform: measures praising and continuing the reform-minded work of the Joint Legislative Budget Reform Task Force and the Consumer Lending Task Force, and a resolution calling upon the U.S. Congress to work cooperatively with President Donald Trump in implementing the ambitious government reform agenda that he voiced across the nation throughout the presidential campaign.
The agenda bills were proposed by Republican House members and were vetted by the Caucus’s Agenda Committee, which was chaired by Rep. Chris Pringle (R – Mobile) and included Rep. Chris Blackshear (R – Phenix City), Rep. David Faulkner (R – Mountain Brook), Rep. Bob Fincher (R – Woodland), Rep. Mark Tuggle (R – Alexander City), Rep. Connie Rowe (R – Jasper), and Rep. Ritchie Whorton (R-Scottsboro) as members.
“When we brought the agenda before the full Caucus, it was approved unanimously because it truly reflects the bedrock conservative beliefs of most Republicans,” Pringle said. “I am confident that the bills in our ‘Alabama Proud’ agenda will secure quick approval when brought up for consideration on the House floor.”
Copies of the proposed legislation are not yet available. The 2017 legislative session convenes Tuesday, Feb. 7.