Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) and Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Fairhope) shared a two-year-old CPAC poll on Twitter last week that lists Alabama as the “most conservative” state legislature in the country.
The poll came from CPAC’s Center of Legislative Accountability (CLA), which maintains several rankings about politicians and legislative bodies around the country, attempting to establish the most conservative and the least conservative.
The two lawmakers shared a link to an article from The Hill about the poll on Twitter. The article was written in December and cited the CLA poll from 2021. The 2022 rankings do not appear to be complete.
Being ranked the most conservative legislature in the USA is a badge of honor we wear proudly and one we will always defend. From tax cuts to protecting unborn life to constitutional carry, our members work hard for the people of Alabama. #alpolitics https://t.co/QpvzXtlLov— Nathaniel Ledbetter (@RepLedbetter) June 23, 2023
Alabama is in the top 2 and we aren’t 2. Big things are happening in Alabama. https://t.co/Jt4qKYCmOU— Matt Simpson (@MattSimpson) June 24, 2023
Though Alabama ranked first in 2021, Alabama was only 15th in 2020 and has been frequently outranked by states like Florida and Tennessee.
According to the poll, the Alabama Legislature's strongest issues in 2021 were federalism and local empowerment, energy and environment, property rights, education and human dignity. However, it remained weak in government integrity and transparency, health care and taxes, budget and spending.
It is unclear where the Alabama Legislature would rank in 2022 or 2023.
Though Alabama repealed a portion of its grocery sales tax this year and repealed taxes on overtime pay, the legislature did not pass any further tax cuts despite a $2.8 billion revenue surplus in the Education Trust Fund (ETF). Instead, the legislature passed some of the largest budgets in state history.
The legislature also continues to support so-called "economic incentive" programs that give special privileges to specific corporations.
Although, it did pass measures that promised to increase transparency about who receives economic incentives, requiring the Alabama Department of Commerce to publish certain information on its website by July 1.
At the same time, a bill to require state entities to put deadlines on public information request responses passed the Senate but ran out of time before it could be considered in the House. Alabama's public information laws are some of the weakest in the country.
State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia) and State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity) proposed the Parental Rights in Children's Education (PRICE) Act this year to allow parents with children in private schools to create a savings account with state education funds to contribute to their child's education.
The bill never received consideration on the floor by either chamber.
On the other hand, the legislature managed to prohibit the state from entering into contracts with companies that discriminate in business practices to promote ideological or social objectives despite opposition from bank-funded lobbyists.
It also continued to stand behind the Human Life Protection Act, which prohibits abortion in the state, even after the overturn of Roe vs. Wade last summer.
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