Governor Kay Ivey has officially announced the special legislative session for lawmakers to redraw congressional maps after being compelled by a Supreme Court ruling.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld with a 5-4 vote a lower court's decision to require the Alabama Legislature to redraw the congressional districts to include a second largely or majority-black congressional district. The lower court asserted that Alabama's current congressional districts might violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965 since the 2020 census showed a slight decrease in the white population while the black population grew by over 3%.
Alabama currently has one majority-black congressional district held by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham).
Ivey released her declaration on Tuesday, calling for the special session to begin July 17 and taking a shot at the Court’s decision. In her proclamation, Ivey exclusively mentioned the map redraw, meaning any other legislative endeavors will require a two-thirds majority vote to pass.
I have called the Alabama Legislature into a special session beginning July 17 at 2:00 p.m., to address redistricting.— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) June 27, 2023
It is critical that Alabama be fairly and accurately represented in Washington. Our Legislature knows our state better than the federal courts do. #alpolitics pic.twitter.com/UmVcMMuf3d
Several legislative measures have been suggested for the special session.
On June 1, Ivey signed the incorrect version of a bill into law. House Bill 82 (HB82), sponsored by House Pro-Tem Chris Pringle (R-Mobile), would allow manslaughter charges against individuals who furnish certain controlled substances that result in someone’s death. However, due to an alleged software glitch, Ivey signed the wrong version of the bill into law. Lawmakers have suggested fixing the bill during July’s special session.
State Sen. Chris Elliot (R-Josephine) has also suggested using the session to remove $5 million in funding to the Alabama Department of Archives and History after it hosted a luncheon about Alabama's LGBTQ+ history.
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