Sen. Arthur Orr reflects on Alabama’s 2021 legislative session

Alabama News

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Alabama’s 2021 legislative session continued into its midnight deadline Monday night.

“Both houses were in session well over 12 hours and reported out or passed a lot of bills,” said Senator Arthur Orr, R- Decatur. “All in all I think it was a pretty successful day for both chambers.”

Orr said the entire session overall proved to be productive.

“We were putting two years’ worth of legislation in basically this 2021 session because 2020 was such a bust due to COVID. We lost weeks and weeks and weeks of session time.”

A few controversial bills passed into law this session.

“Medical marijuana bill was a big piece of legislation that people saw is very important,” said Orr. “However, there you know there’s a real concern is that just a first step towards recreational marijuana, and you hear a lot of comments and pushback and I think it’s a valid concern.”

Outside of that legislation, we saw Governor Ivey sign an anti-trans sports ban into law. As well as a wine delivery bill.

Gaming and lottery legislation was of high interest. But it died prior to Monday.

Orr explained why.

“Speaker McCutcheon made a decision not to put the gaming bills on the floor of the house,” he said. “That allowed a lot of other legislation to proceed and to move on.”

The 2021 session, like many years before, saw more bills die than be passed.

Some of those include two Confederate monument bills, one that strengthened the fine for moving them and one that would have made the process easier. Both died.

A no-excuse absentee voting bill also died.

Lawmakers also gave final approval for the state’s $2.4 billion general fund budget. The spending plan now heads to Governor Ivey for consideration.

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