Republican caucus releases 2013 legislative agenda

Adopting the them "We Dare Defend Our Rights", Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives proposed the 2013 legislative agenda for the session that begins February 5.

The theme is based on the official state motto. Republican leadership says the agenda is designed to preserve the rights and liberties citizens hold dear, while creating jobs, improving the economy and cutting spending and government waste.

The items included on the agenda include:

The Women's Health and Safety Act which would require direct physician involvement and mandatory standards for nursing care and post-operative follow-up visits for a woman who chooses to have an abortion.

Alabama Firearms Protection Amendment - would contain the strongest gun protection{}provisions in the country and would require future courts to use strict judicial scrutiny in evaluating state laws that could infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.

Local Control School Flexibility Act would provide local school systems the ability to request more flexibility from certain state statutes, policies and regulations in order to improve education within their districts.

The People's Trust Act provides the payback structure to give the governor flexibility to make the Alabama Trust Fund whole, while containing benchmarks that ensure repayment by the end of FY 2026. In 2012, Alabamians approved the transfer of $437 million from the Trust Fund to the General Fund budget, taking state lawmakers at their word the money would be repaid.

Other items on the Republican agenda include specific measures in opposition to the Affordable Health Care act.