Alabama House of Representatives
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Alabama House of Representatives
New session started
|February 25, 2020|
Speaker pro Tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article IV, Alabama Constitution|
|November 6, 2018|
|November 8, 2022|
|House of Representatives|
Alabama State House
|Alabama House of Representatives|
The Alabama State House of Representatives is the lower house of the Alabama Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alabama. The House is composed of 105 members representing an equal number of districts, with each constituency containing at least 42,380 citizens. There are no term limits in the House. The House is also one of the five lower houses of state legislatures in the United States that is elected every four years. Other lower houses, including the United States House of Representatives, are elected for a two-year term.
Powers and process
All revenue-raising matters must originate in the Alabama House, just as in the Congress of the United States. The House must have a quorum to conduct business, and a majority of a quorum can pass any bill except a constitutional amendment, which requires a three-fifths vote of all those elected. An appropriation to a non-government organization, such as a private college, requires a two-thirds vote of those elected. In order to be a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, one must be a minimum of 21 years of age.
The Alabama House of Representatives is composed of 105 members, for the respectively numbered districts across the state. Each member represents a district of approximately 42,000 people, and is elected to a four-year term. Members of the House at the time of their election must have been citizens of Alabama for three years, and have lived in their respective districts for at least one year immediately preceding their election. The Speaker of the House is a member of the body and is elected by his colleagues to serve as its presiding officer.
Members of the House are paid a salary of ten dollars per day, plus expenses other than travel in an amount fixed by joint resolution of the legislature.
The Speaker of the House presides over the House of Representatives. The Speaker is elected by the majority party caucus followed by confirmation of the full House through the passage of a House Resolution. In addition to presiding over the body, the Speaker is also the chief leadership position and controls the flow of legislation and committee assignments. Other House leaders, such as the majority and minority leaders, are elected by their respective party caucuses relative to their party's strength in the chamber.
- Speaker of the House: Republican Mac McCutcheon, District 25 (Monrovia, Madison County)
- Majority Leader: Republican Nathaniel Ledbetter, District 24 (Rainsville, DeKalb County)
- Minority Leader: Democrat Anthony Daniels, District 53 (Madison)
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous legislature||72||33||105||0|
|Begin present legislature||77||28||105||0|
|Latest voting share||72.82%||27.18%|
|Speaker of the House||Mac McCutcheon||Republican||25th–Capshaw|
|Speaker pro tempore||Victor Gaston||Republican||100th–Mobile|
|Clerk of the House||Jeffrey Woodard|
|House Majority Leader||Nathaniel Ledbetter||Republican||24th–Rainsville|
|Majority Whip||Danny Garrett||Republican||44th–Trussville|
|Majority Caucus Vice-Chair||Connie Rowe||Republican||13th–Jasper|
|Majority Caucus Secretary/Treasurer||Phillip Pettus||Republican||1st–Killen|
|House Minority Leader||Anthony Daniels||Democratic||53rd–Huntsville|
|Assistant Minority Leader||Merika Coleman||Democratic||57th–Birmingham|
|Minority Caucus Chair||Christopher J. England||Democratic||70th–Tuscaloosa|
|Minority Caucus Vice-Chair||Barbara Drummond||Democratic||103rd–Mobile|
|Minority Whips||Adline Clarke||Democratic||97th–Hartselle|
|Minority Caucus Secretary/Treasurer||Kelvin Lawrence||Democratic||69th–Hayneville|
Past composition of the House
Throughout most of the state's history, the Democratic Party has held the majority in the Alabama House of Representatives except for a few brief exceptions. The Whig Party controlled the lower house in 1819 and again in 1821-23, and for the last time in 1837–1838.
After the Civil War and emancipation, granting of citizenship and the franchise to freedmen, most joined the Republican Party. Politics became competitive for several years. Republicans, made up of both races, held the majority of seats during the Reconstruction period from 1868 to 1870, and again from 1872 to 1874.
Among the House's historical firsts was the election of its first African-American members in 1868, when 27 black Republicans were elected. Among those African Americans elected to the lower house in 1872 was Rev. Mentor Dotson, a teacher. His granddaughter Helen Elsie Austin in 1930 was the first African-American woman to graduate from University of Cincinnati Law School, and in 1937 the first black and first woman to be appointed as state assistant attorney general of Ohio. She had a career as counsel to several federal agencies, was active in civil rights, and served a decade as a US Foreign Service Officer in Africa.
Beginning in 1876, white Democrats regained control of the state house, through a combination of fraud, intimidation, and armed attacks on Republicans. At the turn of the 20th century, they passed laws that essentially disenfranchised both blacks and poor whites, causing a dramatic drop in voter rolls. Alabama white Democrats helped form the Solid South in Congress. For decades a failure to redistrict according to census returns resulted in the state legislature being dominated by rural counties and conservative Democrats.
There was a realignment of party affiliations during the later 20th century. In the 1970s the ruling of one man, one vote by the US Supreme Court enabled urban jurisdictions to acquire political power in the State House that expressed the size of their populations. Through the late 20th century, after the civil rights movement, white conservatives began to realign, supporting Republican presidential candidates. Most blacks in the state supported the national Democratic Party, which had supported constitutional rights. At the local and state level, numerous Democrats were elected.
Some 136 years of Democratic control of the State House ended in November 2010. Beginning with the 2010 General Election Republicans swept to a large majority in the state house. They increased this margin in the elections in 2014 and 2018.
Current committees include:
- Agriculture and Forestry
- Baldwin County Legislation
- Boards, Agencies and Commissions
- Children and Senior Advocacy
- Commerce and Small Business
- Constitutions, Campaigns and Elections
- County and Municipal Government
- Economic Development and Tourism
- Education Policy
- Ethics and Campaign Finance
- Financial Services
- Internal Affairs
- Jefferson County Legislation
- Lee County Legislation
- Local Legislation
- Madison County Legislation
- Military and Veterans' Affairs
- Mobile County Legislation
- Montgomery County Legislation
- Public Safety and Homeland Security
- Shelby County Legislation
- State Government
- Technology and Research
- Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
- Tuscaloosa County Legislation
- Ways and Means Education
- Ways and Means General Fund
- "2016 Survey: State Legislative Compensation, Session Per Diem and Mileage" (PDF). National Conference of State Legislatures. Retrieved March 16, 2021.
- Article IV, Section 50 of the Alabama Constitution.
- Bailey, Neither Carpetbaggers nor Scalawags (1991)
- Dance, Gabby. Alabama Political Reporter, July 24, 2019
- "Alabama House Committees". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.