House Democrats disappointed with partisan legislation

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Thursday marks the end of the 2022 regular legislative session in Alabama. As the session draws to a close, members of the Alabama House Democratic Caucus said they were disappointed with the partisan nature of the recent legislation.

“We are frustrated that good faith efforts to introduce and debate important bills have been silenced,” said House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville).

Democratic representatives have criticized the legislative priorities of Alabama House Republicans. Rep. Adline Clarke (D-Mobile) called many of the bills “senseless,” saying they were “politically motivated” and did not actively help Alabamians.

“Why was it so incredibly urgent to ban critical race theory that isn’t even taught in K-12 schools in Alabama,” Clarke said.

Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) went further, saying he thinks some laws will do more harm than good.

“We prioritized politics over people, and good politics usually makes bad politics,” England said. “You can see that we gave many examples of this in this last legislative session. I think there’s no doubt you’ll have to see us come back in the future and fix a lot of the problems we’ve created this session.

Daniels said he expects the state to suffer the consequences of this session. Restrictive legislation like the bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth may lead activist groups to file a lawsuit against the state of Alabama.

“Some of those particular policies reflect where we were, and to me, we never changed,” Daniels said. “We just did a good job of disguising it, so I think it’s going to stifle growth.”

Going forward, Daniels said representatives need to remember that they speak for all of their constituents.

“We remain strongly committed to ensuring that the people we represent have their voices heard and have a place at the table,” Daniels said.

The Democratic caucus has prioritized economic growth, health care expansion and education as features of its 2022 legislative agenda. Republican House members currently outnumber Democratic Representatives 74 to 28 , making it difficult for the Democratic caucus to successfully win a major legislative motion. Members relied on bipartisan cooperation on issues like education.

“This is a budget that reflects Alabama moving its education system forward,” said Rep. Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile).

The increased funding has allowed House Democrats to expand programs in areas such as education and mental health.


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