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Opinion | Looking back on the 2024 Session

The session was demanding at times, but my colleagues and I made significant progress.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery. STOCK
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After three intense and productive months, my second session representing House District 15 has come to a close. The session was demanding at times, but my colleagues and I made significant progress that will benefit our state.

During the 2024 session, I carried five pieces of legislation that dealt with everything from education to criminal justice to sensory training for fire personnel and EMTs. Three of those six cleared the House and Senate and are either awaiting Governor Ivey’s signature or have already been signed into law.

Here’s a look at what I passed and why it matters:

HB126 requires fire-protection personnel, certified volunteer firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel to undergo annual training on interacting with individuals with sensory needs or invisible disabilities. People with invisible disabilities (ID) tend to react differently and get overwhelmed more easily than neurotypical individuals due to various sensory sensitivities. These factors, along with the communication challenges, mean there is a lot of opportunity for confusion and actions that can be misinterpreted or cause additional escalation during emergency situations. The training is administered by Kulture City and is already utilized by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

HB125 makes it a felony for a recognized member of the clergy to commit sexual acts with an individual under 19 years of age or a protected person under 22 years of age. This legislation is the result of some very difficult conversations with victims who were taken advantage of by someone who was in a position of trust and authority.

HB232 allows licensed physical therapists to conduct initial screenings of patients and eliminates the requirement that physical therapy be practiced only upon a referral from a licensed physician. Medical care is expensive, and I’m all for saving my constituents money whenever possible. In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense for someone to be required to pay one medical professional so they can be referred to another.

In addition to passing my own legislation, I voted on hundreds of other bills, some of which, I truly believe make our state better.

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Many Alabamians are being squeezed out of homeownership due to annual property tax increases. Some areas have seen double-digit increases year after year, and I voted in favor of capping annual property tax increases at 7 percent.

Education remains one of Alabama’s most pressing challenges. I’m proud that the Legislature passed one of the nation’s strongest school-choice laws while investing a record $9.4 billion into our public schools. We provided teachers with a well-deserved pay raise and funded career coaches and mental health coordinators in every district.

Alabama’s economy is historically strong, but our workforce participation rate is one of the worst in the country. For many parents, especially single mothers, the rising cost of childcare makes working nearly impossible. I don’t think parents should have to choose between raising a family and having a career, which is why I was proud to help pass the Childcare Tax Credit legislation. This legislation provides employers with tax credits for offering childcare to employees, and I believe it will go a long way in offering parents options.

When I asked for your support in 2022, I promised to pass commonsense, conservative legislation that helps our community and the state of Alabama thrive. I genuinely believe I have made good on that commitment.

My biggest goal as a lawmaker is for the people of House District 15 to always have a seat at the table. It’s my job to ensure your voices are heard loud and clear in the halls of the State House, and the best way I know to do this is by communicating with you.

If you have an issue, I want to know about it and I want to see what I can do to address it.

Email me, send me a message on Facebook, or call me. I can’t guarantee that you’ll always get the answer you want, but I can guarantee that you’ll always get an answer.

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Serving you is one of the greatest honors of my life, and I look forward to our continued work to make House District 15 an even better place to call home.  

Rep. Leigh Hulsey, a Republican, is a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, representing House District 15. She assumed office in November 2022.

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