Wood looks ahead to upcoming legislative session

Published 9:30 am Saturday, January 13, 2024

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With the Alabama legislative session less than a month away, there are a few bills that citizens can hope to see coming up this year. The legislative session for 2024 convenes on Feb. 6. 

State Representative Debbie Wood said there is a lot to look forward to in the new year. For one, she plans to carry a bill to ensure ballot machines receive a post-election audit. 

Wood said she also anticipates introducing a gaming bill during the next session. The bill would allow the people in Alabama to vote on not only the lottery but all gaming. However, she said the state already has three legal casinos. 

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“I will say it’s going to be tough because there’s already so many critics that are dead set against it,” Wood said. “… Gaming is here whether we want it or not.”

Wood said the education income is down 29% after the funds from COVID-19 have stopped coming in. She said because of this the grocery tax is not likely to go down another cent as anticipated.

“We did cut one cent last year,” Wood said. “We were hoping to get another cent this year. I don’t anticipate that happening.”

The grocery tax cut granted a tax cut of 1% on food starting Sept. 1, 2023. Another tax cut was meant to follow in September 2024. 

The gradual 2% tax cut was meant to eliminate $300 million in tax revenue and save Alabama shoppers money on their grocery bills. It was anticipated that families would save an average of $150 per year in the first year’s reduction.