MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Tensions over redistricting are straining the final days of Alabama’s legislative session.
Black lawmakers on Tuesday vowed a legislative slowdown as they pressed for changes in the bill backed by the Republican majority. House Republicans responded by repeatedly voting to cut off debate and force votes on legislation.
Federal judges in January ordered the GOP-controlled Legislature to redraw lines before the 2018 elections after ruling that Republican lawmakers improperly made race a predominant factor when drawing 12 districts. The Legislative Black Caucus on Tuesday said the Republican majority has not treated the black caucus fairly and the proposed map is racially gerrymandered to entrench GOP dominance.
“If it passes as is, we will be back in court and it will be taxpayers’ money once again being wasted,” Black Caucus Chairman John Knight said Tuesday.
Sen. Bobby Singleton said he would have every bill read on the Senate floor until Democrats had their concerns addressed.
“Sit back and relax,” said Singleton, a Democrat from Greensboro.
Filibusters are one of the few maneuvers the minority party has to influence legislation.
House Republicans responded Tuesday by voting to cut off debate on every matter before the House — even the mundane issues such as what time to convene on Wednesday.
Republican leaders have said they are confident that their redistricting plan addresses the problems found by the court.