County commissioners from across the state will come together in Auburn later this month to discuss their state legislative priorities.
Nearly 400 county officials and employees across Alabama will gather at the annual ACCA legislative conference to discuss pressing policy issues and develop a unified county advocacy plan for the 2024 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature.
County leaders will also consider the adoption of a statewide document—the Alabama County Platform —that will provide state lawmakers with a unified, 67-county stance on the public policy issues impacting county governments throughout the 2024 Session. A vote by the membership on the Alabama County Platform will cap off the two-day event.
The agenda for the event highlights some notable expectations for the upcoming session.
Othni Lathram, director of the Legislative Services Agency, will talk to the association about plans to construct a new statehouse.
Plans are currently underway as the Legislature works with Retirement Systems of Alabama on constructing the new facility.
Recently released illustrations show the statehouse being constructed a block away from the current building, with the existing facility to be turned into green space. Lawmakers still don’t know the cost of the project, and have the ability to back put if the cost exceeds expectations.
Rep. Matt Simpson, R-Daphne, will discuss his plans to rewrite Alabama’s ethics laws to include changing the state’s ban on gifts between lobbyists, officials and employees who don’t have interests in the same governmental body.
Simpson has said the current language extends the laws to more than a million people and could lead to charges for innocent situations.
Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Montgomery, will talk to county officials about plans to address workforce development as the state faces a labor shortage.
Rep. Rex Reynolds, R-Huntsville, will look ahead to potential mental health policy improvements. Mental health has been a growing priority of the Legislature in recent years, from increased funding for the Department of Mental Health to the inclusion of mental health counselors in schools.
Rep. Joe Lovvorn, R-Auburn, will give a glimpse into other potential priorities of the Legislature in a broad overview of the legislative session. Gov. Kay Ivey has pushed the Legislature to tackle a school voucher program in the upcoming session, and several lawmakers have weighed in on legislation that would address how local libraries handle content that some have challenged as inappropriate for minors.
As usual, there are rumblings of gambling legislation as well as lawmakers continue to struggle to find a passable version of a lottery.