Gambling, school choice, body cameras on Alabama’s 2024 legislative session

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama lawmakers are returning to the state capitol for the beginning of the 2024 legislative session, where more than 100 proposed pieces have already been filed.

The Alabama 2024 legislative session began today, Feb. 6, and lawmakers will review topics ranging from police body cameras to school choice.

Here is a breakdown of the main topics to be addressed.

Body cameras and the public record:

Legislation about body cameras being available on the public record has been proposed by senators including Merika Coleman of Birmingham and Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham.

Essentially, the proposals center on the idea of letting individuals request body camera footage from law enforcement agencies.

The issue became a focal point after the July 2023 death of Jawan Dallas.

Gambling:

Although gambling was not a focus of the 2023 legislative session, it looks like that could change this year.

According to past reporting, new Senate Majority Leader Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) suggested that gambling bills are likely to be introduced as his caucus figures out policy priorities.

Gambling bills would mainly focus on proposals to legalize gambling.

Some Alabama lawmakers say that legalizing gambling could help to offset costs related to prisons and COVID-19 relief.

School choice:

Gov. Kay Ivey has supported expanding school choice in Alabama, mainly focusing on introducing an education savings account bill.

Her proposed bill would allow low-income families to be able to send their children to private schools.

Some lawmakers say this would lead to poorly funded and segregated public schools.

Ivey is expected to release more details about her school choice plan in her State of the State Address tonight, Feb. 6.

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