Reforming Alabama's early prison release and passing the state's economic incentive package to be a priority next week, according to Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).

The Alabama Legislature is in full swing after taking a week for a special session and another week for spring break.

Last week, a priority for lawmakers, House Bill 1 (HB1), which codified penalties for fentanyl traffickers, was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

This week, lawmakers should push through Senate Bill 1 (SB1), called the Deputy Brad Johnson Act, which brings the long-discussed reform to the state's so-called "good time laws," will be the priority for the House. 

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. April Weaver (R-Brierfield), is named after Bibb County deputy Brad Johnson, who was shot and killed by a recently released inmate who was let out despite a lengthy rap sheet that included a successful prison escape.  

Ledbetter said he expects SB1 to get a floor vote this week, citing recent events as motivation for speedily passing the Act.

"We'll probably have it on the calendar right out of the bat," Ledbetter said. "That's something that's important to law enforcement across the state. Unfortunately, the trend continues with the death of the officer in Huntsville."

In late March, Huntsville police officer Garrett Crumby was shot and killed. The man accused of the shooting was out on a $6,000 bond on two assault charges in Madison County that stemmed from his involvement in a bar shooting in 2022. After bonding out for the bar shooting, he was arrested for carrying a pistol without a permit, which did not result in his bond being revoked.

Additionally, the legislature is slated to address Ivey's proposed "Game Plan," which refers to economic incentives and tax abatements for corporations wanting to bring their businesses to Alabama.

Ledbetter said he anticipates the Game Plan to come out of committee and receive votes on the floor this week. The GOP Caucus has yet to meet and discuss the Game Plan, but there has not been any significant pushback from GOP lawmakers.

"I think we could have [amendments]," Ledbetter said. "I think there will be, but I think they'll be positive. I think there's a piece on tourism that I'm supporting. I think it is a very positive part of it."

"I think it's major important," Ledbetter continued. "I think it's put us where we're at today. I mean, with the growth of our economy in Alabama, none of us have seen it like it is today. You know, we're producing more automobiles, building ships and airplanes, and part of the incentive packages is the reason for that."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.