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Weekly Legislative Session Report: Week Six

Beth Lyons

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The Alabama Legislature met in session for Day 11 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, March 10. Thirty-one committee meetings were held during the week to consider legislation. Both Houses met in session on Thursday, March 12 for Day 12.
779 bills have been introduced so far this Session.

The Legislature will be on a scheduled break next week. The Senate will not convene the following week as well. The House will hold committee meetings on Wednesday, March 25 and convene for Day 13 of the Session on Thursday, March 26 at 9:30 a.m. Both Houses will then convene the following Tuesday, March 31, for Day 14.

DURING THE WEEK

SB165, known as the Compassion Act, was debated on the Senate floor Thursday. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Tim Melson, would authorize and regulate the use of medical cannabis for certain medical conditions. Senator Melson introduced a substitute to his bill. Following a lengthy debate and adoption of 10 additional amendments, the bill passed the Senate on a vote of 22-11. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.

The Senate amended HB186 by Representative Steve Clouse which makes supplemental appropriations to various state agencies by adding an appropriation of $5 million to the Department of Public Health to be used for Coronavirus preparedness and response activities. After concurrence in the House, the bill was signed by the Governor (Act No. 2020-36).

The Senate Governmental Affairs committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on SB57 by Senator Cam Ward that would require governmental bodies to adopt rules authorizing each citizen to inspect and copy any public record upon request made in accordance with this act. The sponsor offered a substitute to the bill that addressed some opponent concerns. He invited opponents to submit specific concerns for further negotiation.

The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill (SB144 by Senator Andrew Jones) that would reduce the amount of federal income taxes an Alabama taxpayer could deduct from his or her Alabama Income Tax return, and would exempt sales of food from state sales and use taxes beginning October 1, 2020.

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The Ethics Subcommittee of the House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee met to discuss two bills that would make significant changes to the Ethics Law. HB127 by Representative Will Dismukes would remove teachers and administrators of public K-12 schools from the double dipping prohibition. HB179 by Representative Mike Ball would prohibit the Attorney General or a district attorney from presenting a suspected ethics violation to a grand jury without a referral by the Ethics Commission, and would add an additional member to the Commission.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on HB44 by Representative Matt Simpson that would include mental disease or disorder in the term occupational disease for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits paid to an emergency responder.

The Senate confirmed several board appointments including Edward F. Crowell to the Alabama Ethics Commission, John Tyson to the State Courses of Study Committee, and Senator Garlan Gudger to the Alabama Children’s Policy Council.

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The House spent most of Thursday in Session passing 28 Sunset bills to continue certain state agencies including the State Licensing Board for General Contractors, the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering, the Real Estate Commission, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

BILLS PASSED BY HOUSE:

HB151 by Rep. Simpson HB214 by Rep. Rich
HB215 by Rep. Weaver HB235 by Rep. Gray
HB341 by Rep. Ledbetter SB12 by Senator Smitherman
SB111 by Senator Orr

BILLS PASSED BY SENATE:

HB66 by Rep. McClammy

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK

To provide that to be eligible for work release, inmates convicted of a violent offense shall be subject to electronic monitoring.

To create the “Teacher Bill of Rights,” granting teachers the right to use appropriate discipline, remove persistently disruptive students, and be treated with civility and respect, among others.

To provide that Alabama would observe Daylight Savings Time year- round if existing federal prohibition is repealed.

To authorize local boards of education to offer yoga to students in grades K-12.

To require each local board of education to employ a mental health service coordinator.

To expand the Missing Senior Citizen Alert Act to include missing and endangered persons suffering from a mental or physical disability who are at risk of bodily harm or death.

To prohibit the manufacture, marketing, sale, distribution, use, and possession of synthetic urine or a urine additive to defraud an alcohol, drug, or urine screening test.

To authorize a municipality or county to establish a local redevelopment authority for property that is contiguous to an active US Air Force military installation.

HB272 by Rep. Weaver
SB45 by Senator Ward
SB189 by Senator Smitherman

To revise deadlines for candidates to qualify for the November 3, 2020 general election to accommodate the dates of the 2020 Republican National Convention.

To further provide for the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure by prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a critical infrastructure except under certain conditions.

To require a board of education to hold a hearing when a student has been expelled or suspended for a period of more than 10 days, prevent a student in pre-K to 5th grade from being suspended or expelled unless the physical safety of students or personnel is endangered, and prohibit a student from being suspended or expelled for truancy or tardiness.

BILLS CARRIED OVER IN THE SENATE:

SB127 by Senator Allen
SB255 by Senator Albritton

To expand the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 and the jurisdiction of the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection, as well as increasing fines from a total of $25,000 to $5,000 per day.

To require the Judicial Resources Allocation Commission to meet and make a determination of whether to reallocate a judgeship within 30 days of a vacancy, and remove the provision that no judicial circuit may lose more than one judgeship through allocation in a two-year period.

HOUSE:

HB104 by Rep. Weaver
HB248 by Rep.Shaver
HB258 by Rep. Crawford

To prohibit the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems in any place where smoking is prohibited (House Commerce and Small Business Committee).

Toestablishcriminalpenaltiesforaphysicianwhodoesnot exercise reasonable care to preserve the life of a child born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion in an abortion or reproductive health center (amended in House Judiciary Committee).

To specify that the definition of gross receipts, for the purposes of municipal business license taxes, does not include any excise tax imposed by the federal, state, and local governments (House County and Municipal Government Committee).

NOTEWORTHY BILLS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE THIS WEEK

HB260 by Rep. C. Brown
HB365 by Rep. Collins
HB407 by Rep. Isbell
SB172 by Senator Orr
SB183 by Senator Sessions

SENATE:

HB81 by Rep. C. Brown
HB113 by Rep. C. Brown SB110 by Senator Orr

To exempt slot machines manufactured prior to 1960 from the crime of possession of a gambling device under certain circumstances (House Judiciary Committee)..

To allow a licensed wine manufacturer to obtain a direct shipper permit to allow the permittee to ship limited quantities of table wine directly to Alabama residents (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee).

To provide for a delivery service license issued by the ABC Board to allow delivery of sealed beer and wine from certain retail establishments directly to individuals who are at least 21 years old (amended by House Economic Development and Tourism Committee).

To expand the right of some wireless providers to install their facilities on public rights-of-way, exempt these providers from certain zoning reviews and approval procedures, establish maximum rates and fees for permits, and exempt certain governmental entities which have ordinances or agreements regarding the industry (House Urban and Rural Development Committee).

To authorize any county to issue bonds to refund certain bonds previously issued by the county, and to ratify and confirm the validity of any refunding bonds originally issued prior to January 1, 2011 (House County and Municipal Government Committee).

A proposed Constitutional Amendment to provide that a person charged with a Class A felony, when the proof is evident or the presumption is great, and if no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm, be denied bail before conviction (Senate Judiciary Committee)..

To provide for additional offenses that would require mandatory denial of bail (Senate Judiciary Committee)..

To require public accommodations and facilities operated by public entities to install and maintain baby diaper changing stations accessible to both males and females (amended in Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).

HOUSE:

HB413 by Rep. Simpson
HB418 by Rep. Clouse
HB430 by Rep. McMillan HB447 by Rep. M. Moore
HB448 by Rep. Hall
HB450 by Rep. Coleman
HB452 by Rep. Chestnut

SENATE:

SB284 by Senator Orr
SB286 by Senator Beasley
SB293 by Sen. Coleman-Madison

To require courts in the state to take judicial notice of municipal ordinances of a Class 2 municipality (House County and Municipal Government Committee).

A proposed Constitutional Amendment to establish an Alabama Lottery, including instant tickets and multi-state lottery games with the proceeds to be used for early childhood education and scholarships (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee).

To specify that Robert E. Lee Day would be observed on the second Monday in October (House State Government Committee).

To expand Medicaid to provide assistance to all persons for whom matching funds are available to the state under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).

To extend the postpartum coverage period for pregnant women eligible for Medicaid assistance (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).

To decrease the number of tax delinquent properties a municipality must have to form a local land bank authority from 1,000 to 100 (House Ways and Means Education Committee).

To require the mayor or city manager of a municipality with certain annual expenditures to cause to be conducted an annual or biennial audit of the municipality, and report to the city council upon completion (House State Government Committee).

To require the Department of Revenue to centrally value aircraft instead of being assessed in the county in which the aircraft is domiciled (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).

To authorize the Secretary of State to conduct a one-time post- election pilot audit after the November 3, 2020 general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported outcome of the election (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).

To decrease the number of tax delinquent properties a municipality must have to form a local land bank authority from 1,000 to 100 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Commitee).

SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTIONS THIS WEEK

SB295 by Sen. Givhan
SB306 by Sen. Chesteen

SB310 by Sen. Figures
SB315 by Senator Orr
SB317 by Sen. Coleman-Madison
SB318 by Senator Chesteen

To exempt airport authorities from sales and use taxes, and provide for a certificate of exemption (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee).

To establish the Elections Emergency Act and authorize the Governor to suspend or delay elections in the event of a declared state of emergency (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).

To provide that the Director of the Alabama State Port Authority may increase the number of executive level employees, to allow the Port Authority to enter into employment contracts with former employees for the transitional period following retirement, and provide that the commercial terms of certain contract entered into by the Port Authority are exempt from certain state laws limiting confidentiality.

To provide for a reduced additional annual license tax and registration fee for electric low speed vehicles (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).

To increase the threshold amount that subjects a public contract to the competitive bidding requirements from $15,000 to $25,000 (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).

To require public K-12 schools to install water bottle filling stations in school facilities (Senate Education Policy Committee).

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Alabama Legislative Black Caucus holds meetings on racism in wake of George Floyd death

Eddie Burkhalter

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State Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, is the chair of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.

Members of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus in recent months have been meeting with Gov. Kay Ivey, state law enforcement officials and others to voice their concern over systemic racism in Alabama, the group said in a statement Friday. 

Alabama Legislative Black Caucus members in June met with Ivey, and in follow-up meetings with other state officials and leaders of higher education, members discussed what they believe needs changing to battle racism in Alabama, according to the press release. 

“We are very appreciative of Governor Ivey and all of the officials with whom we have met thus far,” said State Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, chairwoman of the ALBC, in a statement. “Our dialogues have been very substantive and productive as the Caucus presented our concerns and recommendations. Our goal is to get to the root of and eradicate racism and anything that communicates hatred, bigotry or divisiveness within the State of Alabama. The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd caused us all to take a closer look at the systemic racism at work here in Alabama.”

ALBC members met with officials from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Sheriffs Association, the Alabama Association of Police Chiefs and Katie Britt, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama along with BCA’s Executive Leadership Committee.

Members also met with The University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis St. John, and Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University. 

In the statement, ALBC members applauded the University of Alabama’s Board of Trustees for voting unanimously to rename Nott Hall — named for Josiah Nott, a doctor who believed in white superiority — Honors Hall. 

“The University of Alabama had already started this endeavor before our meeting with them this past Tuesday,” said State Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Gallion, vice chairman of ALBC, in a statement. “That was a great first step and strong leadership was shown. We are looking forward to the other institutions of higher learning in Alabama to do the same as well. The Caucus also hopes that all members of the Alabama Legislature have been inspired to adopt and make meaningful changes in legislation that governs our state.”

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Figures said the group of elected senators and representatives are holding these talks, with plans for others, “so that people will stop focusing on Alabama’s sordid past, and instead see a beautiful Alabama present, and the makings of a bright future for all Alabamians.” 

“During each of these meetings, our members have had the opportunity to voice what we feel the necessary changes should be. I just hope this openness to positive change continues throughout the upcoming 2021 Alabama Legislative Session,” said State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, in a statement. 

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State senator calls for Rep. Dismukes to resign over celebration of former Klan leader

“Since first being elected in 1996, I’ve had a policy of not publicly criticizing other elected officials, but at this time I am making an exception since Rep. Dismukes is MY state representative,” Chambliss wrote in a tweet. “He does not represent my views or the views of the vast majority of people in District 88.” 

Eddie Burkhalter

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State Sen Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, on Monday called for the resignation of Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville.

State Sen Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, on Monday called for the resignation of Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, after posting to social media about attending a birthday celebration for Nathanial Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Dismukes posted a photo of himself on Sunday speaking at Fort Dixie outside of Selma on Saturday, the same day that late Congressman and Civil Rights hero Rep. John Lewis, was honored in Selma. 

“Since first being elected in 1996, I’ve had a policy of not publicly criticizing other elected officials, but at this time I am making an exception since Rep. Dismukes is MY state representative,” Chambliss wrote in a tweet. “He does not represent my views or the views of the vast majority of people in District 88.” 

“The post is bad enough, the timing is even worse, but the real problem is that an elected official in 2020 would attend a celebration of the life of someone that led a group that terrorized and killed other human beings,” Chambliss continued in the tweet. “He has had 24 hours to understand why people are so upset, but his interview on WSFA a few moments ago confirms that he is lacking in understanding and judgment — he should resign immediately.” 

Dismukes in the WSFA interview told a reporter that he hadn’t thought about the memorial for Rep. Lewis and connected it to his attendance at the celebration for the Klan leader. 

Dismukes told WSFA that he won’t apologize for his family’s service in the “war between the states” that he said wasn’t primarily fought over slavery, that he’s not a racist but that he doesn’t see the need for the current racial reconciliation. 

“We no longer drink from separate water fountains, and we no longer have segregated schools,” Dismukes told WSFA. “You know there’s abundant work opportunities for all colors, there’s abundant scholarship opportunities for all colors. So what are you asking that needs to be racially reconciled?”

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Chambliss may be the first Republican lawmaker in Alabama to call for Dismukes’ resignation, but others have expressed concern over his social media post and attendance at the event. 

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement addressing the post, and said he believes voters should decide whether Dismukes keeps his office. 

“While Rep. Dismukes has released a statement attempting to clarify his actions as a private citizen attending a celebration of the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Alabamians hold their elected officials to a high standard of actions. So does the Republican Party,” Lathan said in the statement. 

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“Rep. Dismukes offered no explanation for why he participated in a birthday celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Additionally, I find his statement to be shallow in understanding why his activities are deeply offensive to so many Alabamians. His constituents will be the final decision-makers of his political future.”

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Republicans are concerned by Rep. Dismukes’ Confederate social media posts

Brandon Moseley

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Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, is facing criticism for attending a birthday celebration for the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, on Monday released a statement in response to a recent social media post by State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, who was in Selma Saturday celebrating Confederate General and Ku Klux Klan leader Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest’s birthday over the weekend. This was while much of the rest of the state was celebrating the life of Alabama native and Civil Rights Movement legend Congressman John Lewis.

“The Alabama Republican Caucus is comprised of 75 men and women, each of whom have their own beliefs and principles that guide their lives,” Ledbetter said. “The personal beliefs expressed by any one member do not reflect the beliefs of the others, and their activities outside the Legislature should be considered their own, as well.”

“Several of our Republican Caucus members have reached out to me with concerns about the content and timing of a recent social media post by State Rep. Will Dismukes, and I, as a House member, share those concerns,” Ledbetter continued. “We live in a nation that guarantees each citizen the right to express the ideas they wish to share, and in the case of a public official, voters will ultimately decide if they agree with those ideas.”

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, also released a statement regarding the controversial social media post.

“The Alabama House cannot police the beliefs, statements, and activities of its members outside the Legislature as that is a job best assigned to voters in each House district across the state,” McCutcheon said. “It is important to note, however, that I and many other members of the House devoted our weekend toward honoring an Alabama native and civil rights icon who dedicated his life to securing freedom, liberty, and equality for all Americans.”

“While Rep. Dismukes has released a statement attempting to clarify his actions as a private citizen attending a celebration of the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Alabamians hold their elected officials to a high standard of actions. So does the Republican Party,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “Rep. Dismukes offered no explanation for why he participated in a birthday celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Additionally, I find his statement to be shallow in understanding why his activities are deeply offensive to so many Alabamians. His constituents will be the final decision-makers of his political future.”

“The Alabama of today was on full, honorable display as we paid humble tribute this weekend to the life of Congressman John Lewis,” Lathan continued. “That is the Alabama that we are proud of — showing the nation and world that we are one in the common goals of equality for all of our citizens.”

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“It is one thing to honor one’s Southern heritage, however, it is completely another issue to specifically commemorate the leader of an organization with an indisputable history of unconscionable actions and atrocities toward African-Americans,” Lathan concluded. “I strongly urge his constituents to contact Rep. Dismukes to articulate and share with him their thoughts on his personal actions.”

On Sunday, Dismukes shared several pictures from the celebration of Gen. Forest’s birthday, with the caption: “Had a great time at Fort Dixie speaking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest annual birthday celebration. Always a great time and some sure enough good eating!!”

After the comments became a social media firestorm that has garnered press attention, Dismukes attempted to explain his position.

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“First and foremost, my post yesterday was in no way related to disrespecting the passing of Rep. John Lewis,” Dismukes said. “That wasn’t even a thought in my mind. That is not who I am as a person. I am a transparent person. To the point that as a public official I lay it all there for the people to see for better or for worse at times. My post yesterday was as usual me sharing a previous days events. The post was in no way intended to seem as if I was glorifying the Klan or any party thereof. The very atrocities and actions they committed are a disgrace to our country.”

“Also, we are all individual members that make up our legislature. I made a post independent of my colleagues,” Dismukes continued. “I made a post independent of my colleagues. My regret is that I have allowed them to be put in a negative light. If you disagree with me and my beliefs do not hold them under the same umbrella. I can live with a dislike for me, but not fellow members, or members of my own personal family. Our body as a whole is made up of some of the finest people I have ever had the honor of knowing and working with, both Democrat and Republican. I close by reiterating that my post was in no way glorifying the Klan or disrespecting the late Rep. John Lewis.”

The Alabama Democratic Party had already come out and demanded that Dismukes resign months ago when it became known that he, a minister, was chaplain for a Sons of the Confederacy chapter in central Alabama.

Dismukes is serving in his first term in the Alabama House. He briefly was a congressional candidate in Alabama’s 2nd District but dropped out of the race before the Republican Primary.

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Alabama lawmaker faces sharp criticism over celebration of former KKK leader

Micah Danney

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State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, shared a post on Facebook after a birthday celebration for Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, is again facing calls to resign over a social media post he made about his participation in an event honoring Confederate heritage.

Dismukes posted a photo of himself on Sunday speaking at Fort Dixie the day before, where a yearly event was held celebrating the birthday of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

“Had a great time at Fort Dixie speaking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest annual birthday celebration. Always a great time and some sure enough good eating!!” Dismukes wrote above a photo of himself speaking on a porch adorned with a portrait of Forrest and several Confederate flags. The post is no longer visible.

Criticism was swift on social media as word spread that Dismukes attended the celebration on the same weekend that the late Congressman and Civil Rights hero, Rep. John Lewis, was honored in Selma, where Lewis was nearly beaten to death in 1965, during the march for voting rights that crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Alabama Democratic Party Executive Director Wade Perry called for Dismukes to resign.

“Will Dismukes has demonstrated yet again why he is unfit to hold public office,” Perry said in a statement. “Americans don’t celebrate racists or traitors. Nathan Bedford Forrest was both. And a founder of the Klan. The Alabama Democratic Party renews our call for Dismukes to resign. It’s 2020 and it’s time for racial extremists like Will Dismukes to go away.”

Dismukes posted a statement on Monday addressing the criticism: “First and foremost, my post yesterday was in no way related to disrespecting the passing of Rep. John Lewis. That wasn’t even a thought in my mind. That is not who I am as a person.

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“I am a transparent person. To the point that as a public official I lay it all there for the people to see for better or for worse at times. My post yesterday was as usual me sharing a previous days events. The post was in no way intended to seem as if I was glorifying the Klan or any party thereof. The very atrocities and actions they committed are a disgrace to our country.

“Also, we are all individual members that make up our legislature. I made a post independent of my colleagues. My regret is that I have allowed them to be put in a negative light. If you disagree with me and my beliefs do not hold them under the same umbrella. I can live with a dislike for me, but not fellow members, or members of my own personal family. Our body as a whole is made up of some of the finest people I have ever had the honor of knowing and working with, both Democrat and Republican.

“I close by reiterating that my post was in no way glorifying the Klan or disrespecting the late Rep. John Lewis.”

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Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement addressing the post:

“While Rep. Dismukes has released a statement attempting to clarify his actions as a private citizen attending a celebration of the first Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Alabamians hold their elected officials to a high standard of actions. So does the Republican Party.

“Rep. Dismukes offered no explanation for why he participated in a birthday celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Additionally, I find his statement to be shallow in understanding why his activities are deeply offensive to so many Alabamians. His constituents will be the final decision-makers of his political future.

“The Alabama of today was on full, honorable display as we paid humble tribute this weekend to the life of Congressman John Lewis. That is the Alabama that we are proud of – showing the nation and world that we are one in the common goals of equality for all of our citizens.

“It is one thing to honor one’s Southern heritage, however, it is completely another issue to specifically commemorate the leader of an organization with an indisputable history of unconscionable actions and atrocities toward African-Americans. I strongly urge his constituents to contact Rep. Dismukes to articulate and share with him their thoughts on his personal actions.”

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, issued a statement saying that the beliefs of one member don’t reflect the beliefs of all, and that several Republican Caucus members expressed concern to him about the content and timing of Dismukes’ post.

We live in a nation that guarantees each citizen the right to express the ideas they wish to share, and in the case of a public official, voters will ultimately decide if they agree with those ideas.”

Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, on Monday issued his own statement:

“The Alabama House cannot police the beliefs, statements, and activities of its members outside the Legislature as that is a job best assigned to voters in each House district across the state.  

“It is important to note, however, that I and many other members of the House devoted our weekend toward honoring an Alabama native and civil rights icon who dedicated his life to securing freedom, liberty, and equality for all Americans.”

Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, tweeted a stern rebuke on Sunday: “I cannot fathom why anyone in 2020 celebrates the birthday of the 1st KKK Grand Wizard. And while the body of a civil rights icon beaten by the Klan lies at state Capitol being honored by GOP/Dem leaders from all over the state. This mentality does not rep my party or my faith.”

Another GOP colleague, Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, responded to a constituent about the matter in a tweet

“Scott, As a Christian, Conservative, member of the Republican Party, I was proud of the comments of my colleague Rep. Danny Garrett. Rep Will Dismukes’ actions were also unfathomable to me. I believe it will take the voters in House Dist. 88 to remove Rep. Dismukes from office,” Farley said.

While fellow Republican officials said that Dismukes’ constituents should decide if he remains in office, the College Republican Federation of Alabama issued a statement on Monday calling for him to resign.

“Representative Dismukes’s Facebook post of him at an event that celebrated former KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest is unacceptable and has no place in the State Legislature or the Republican Party,” the statement said.

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