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Special Session

State Sen. Elliott plans to bring bill defunding Archives during Special Session

Elliott wants to punish the department for holding a gay history luncheon.

Chris Elliott

Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Josephine, is not changing his plans to introduce legislation during the upcoming special session to reroute $5 million away from the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

Elliott had previously shared his intentions to file such legislation in response to a luncheon held by the department highlighting LGBTQ history in Alabama and the underrepresentation of such figures in archives.

But when Gov. Kay Ivey announced the special session on Tuesday morning, she had a clear message: “It is of the utmost importance that this special session only address the congressional map and nothing else. The task at hand is too urgent and too important.”

But that isn’t stopping Elliot from moving forward with a bill.

“It will require (a two-thirds vote) but I don’t believe that will be a problem,” Elliott said. “I’ve successfully worked bills like this before in a special session like the vaccine exemption legislation.”

As Elliott mentioned, because the legislation is not inside the scope of the session set by Ivey, it will require a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to pass. In the House of Representatives, that would require 63 votes. But Elliott believes there are enough lawmakers upset about the event to pass the bill anyway.

“I know a number of legislators that expressed their concern about this event prior to it occurring,” Elliott told a right-wing website. “I know a number of legislators, including myself, asked the director to cancel that program and to not move forward with it, and they have doubled down on their position and went ahead with the program despite numerous concerns. And that’s fine, but the legislature also has the ability to manage appropriations, and I think that there’s an appetite to do that here soon.”

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The special session will begin on July 17, with most eyes on the attempt to create a new Congressional district map that will satisfy the courts, The map must be approved by July 21 for the courts, or else a special master may be called in to draw the maps.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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