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Opinion | Alabama Senate delivers conservative priorities in 2024 session

We were focused on delivering actual results that would continue to make Alabama the best state in the country.

Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed
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Before the start of the 2024 legislative session, the Alabama Senate outlined a plan to show our commitment to conservative governance. We were focused on delivering actual results that would continue to make Alabama the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family because that is what Alabamians expect and deserve.

As a caucus, Senate Republicans prioritized issues that aligned with Alabama’s foundational values and pushed back against Joe Biden’s liberal agenda. Alabamians believe in God. Alabamians defend liberty and protect innocent life. Alabamians love our country, our state, and our communities. Alabamians support the rule of law and want safe and secure neighborhoods. Alabamians believe through hard work, grit, and determination, we can make our state better than it has ever been before. 

Our list of legislative priorities was extensive. Beginning in February, Senate Republicans worked to accomplish these conservative goals, and as President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate, I am pleased to say that we delivered for the people of Alabama. 

Alabama’s elections are even more secure.

In Alabama, we believe in integrity and security. Through considerable efforts, the Alabama legislature has passed legislation to ensure our state has effective and stringent election laws. This legislative session, the Alabama Senate spearheaded efforts to make our election laws even stronger. Senator Garlan Gudger authored legislation that has elevated the criminality of illegal ballot harvesting to a class C felony. This legislation will make certain that absentee ballots in Alabama are filled out and cast in proper ways. I am proud to say that we have ensured that your vote will count and that those who would try to illegally take advantage of our electoral system cannot. 

Divisive concepts are banned from taking over our public schools and state agencies.

God has made us all unique in so many wonderful ways, and we all have special talents, gifts, and skills that should be celebrated. In today’s world, there are so many efforts to pit people against one another, but what we should be looking for are opportunities that promote unity and togetherness. In that spirit, the Alabama Senate led efforts to ban the utilization of taxpayer resources in the teaching and promotion of DEI and divisive concepts in public education and state agencies. I am pleased that this legislation, authored by Senator Will Barfoot, will ensure your taxpayer resources are not being used to endorse and sponsor these divisive issues in our public domains.

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Alabama children’s educations come first, and parents have a right to know what is being taught in their children’s classrooms. 

Children are gifts from God, and they are the future of our great state. Over the past decade, there have been considerable efforts made in the Legislature, like the Literacy Act and Numeracy Act, that ensure our educational outcomes are better for young students. This legislative session, the Alabama Senate wanted to build on our positive momentum in education policy. One way we did that was by passing the CHOOSE Act. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, allows for school choice options in a fiscally responsible way by utilizing education savings accounts. Another way the Alabama Senate built on our positive momentum in education policy was by passing Senator Donnie Chesteen’s First Grade Readiness Bill. This legislation creates a process to admit children to the first grade that either turn six before a certain date, have completed kindergarten, or demonstrate they are ready to enter the first grade.  

Our teachers should be commended for the work they do daily, and their investments in our children’s futures are inspiring. Another important way the Alabama Senate built on positive momentum in education policy was by passing my Parents’ Right to Know Bill. This legislation creates a methodology for parents to be informed about what is being taught in their children’s classrooms and will provide a transparent opportunity for teachers and parents to engage together more for the betterment of all children’s educational outcomes. 

I believe in Alabama and her future. As President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate, it is my goal that the efforts being made in our governmental entities will make Alabama better. As I hope you can see, the Alabama Senate delivered results that will make a meaningful difference in achieving that goal, and I want to thank every Senator for his or her efforts in a productive legislative session. Alabama’s future is incredibly bright!

Greg Reed is the president pro tempore of the Alabama Senate. He is a Republican who represents Jasper, Alabama.

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