Alander Rocha

Alander Rocha

Alander Rocha is a journalist based in Montgomery, and he reports on government, policy and healthcare. He previously worked for the Red & Black, Georgia's student newspaper, and Kaiser Health News, where he covered community health workers' successful efforts to vaccinate refugees in an Atlanta suburb. He is a Tulane and Georgia alumnus with a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.

The front of the Alabama State Capitol features a long marble staircase; a heavy wooden door; six columns extending three stories up, and a dome topped with the U.S. and Alabama flags.

What passed in the Alabama Legislature: May 23-25, 2023

By: and - May 26, 2023

Here’s a list of the bills that passed in the Alabama Legislature this week. Tuesday, May 23, 2023 Senate SB304, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, establishes minimum qualifications for the Hale County sheriff. It passed 32-0 and went to the House of Representatives, which passed it on Thursday. SB 305, sponsored by Sen. Bobby […]

A shopper holds a fruit in their right hand in front of rows of fruits and vegetables.

Alabama House approves bill that would reduce state tax on food

By: - May 26, 2023

The Alabama House Thursday approved a bill that could cut the state grocery tax in half over the next few years. HB 479, sponsored by the House Ways and Means Education chair Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, passed 103-0. It goes to the Senate. The legislation would reduce the state tax rate on food covered by the […]

A woman holding dollar bills over a blue wallet.

Alabama House of Representatives approves one-time income tax rebate

By: - May 25, 2023

The Alabama House of Representatives Thursday approved a one-time rebate for income taxpayers. HB 175, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, the chair of the House Ways and Means Education committee, passed the House on a 101-0 vote. The bill went to the Senate, where the body did not concur with the House changes, and […]

Committee members listen to presentation

Expansion of Alabama’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law won’t move this year, says committee chair

By: - May 25, 2023

A bill that would have expanded Alabama’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill will not move out of committee this year. House Education Policy Committee chair Terri Collins, R-Decatur, said HB 354, sponsored by Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, would not come to a vote after a public hearing where members of the LGBTQ+ community said the […]

Packed room listens to committee passage of HB 405

Alabama House committee approves bill creating legal sex and gender definitions

By: - May 24, 2023

An Alabama House committee Wednesday approved a bill that would put legal definitions of man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex in the Code of Alabama. HB 405, sponsored by Rep. Susan DuBose, R-Hoover, passed the House Health Committee on a party-line vote of 8-5. Rep. Craig Lipscomb, R-Rainbow City, abstained. The […]

Alabama House advances bill tightening Literacy Task Force duties

By: - May 24, 2023

The Alabama House of Representatives Tuesday approved a bill that would give the state’s  Literacy Task Force more duties in the content creation for the state’s comprehensive core reading and reading intervention programs. HB 430, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, passed the chamber on a 94-4 vote. It goes to the Senate. Garrett said […]

A sign saying Department of Justice

Rep. Fred Plump charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice

By: - May 23, 2023

Rep. Fred “Coach” Plump, D-Fairfield, has been charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice and plans to resign from the Alabama House of Representatives, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ accused Plump, a freshman representative, of taking money from a fund used to support programs in Jefferson County […]

Woman in cafe shopping online with laptop.

Report: Alabama’s Internet sales taxes benefitting rural counties, costing cities

By: - May 22, 2023

Alabama’s Internet sales taxes have created winners and losers, according to a report released Monday from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA). The report said that the state’s 8% tax on online goods, or the Simplified Sellers Use Tax (SSUT), has benefitted rural counties with little commercial activity, but reduced revenues to communities […]

A meeting of the Alabama House of Representatives

What passed in the Alabama Legislature: May 16-18, 2023

By: and - May 19, 2023

Here’s a list of the bills that passed the Alabama Legislature this week. Senate HB4, sponsored by Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, prevents employers from microchipping employees. It passed 33-0. The bill passed with an amendment and returns to the House of Representatives. HB24, sponsored by Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Pike Road, increases penalties for loitering. It […]

Suicide and crisis hotline bill moves out of Alabama Senate committee, stalls in House

By: - May 19, 2023

A bill to fund the Alabama 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline remains in a House committee following disagreements over funding. HB 389, sponsored by House Ways and Means General Fund chair Rex Reynolds, R-Huntsville, would create a 988 Suicide and Crisis Call hotline for suicide prevention and crisis management. It would also require the Department […]

A woman speaking with her head turned to the left.

Alabama House approves bill allowing juvenile detention facilities to define contraband

By: - May 18, 2023

The Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would allow detention facilities to develop their own definitions of contraband and punish juveniles for contraband possession as adults.   SB 120, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, passed 98-3. The bill was amended and goes back to the Senate for concurrence or a conference committee. […]

Chair and executive members of committee listen to arguments

DNC warns Alabama Democratic Party over bylaw changes

By: - May 17, 2023

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) said bylaws approved by the Alabama Democratic Party (ADP) on May 5 could violate the party’s rules and may have been adopted undemocratically, according to a letter obtained by the Reflector on Wednesday. The letter from the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, addressed to Randy Kelley, chair of the ADP, […]