Alabama Legislative Report

March 20, 2017

The Alabama Legislature convened in Session for Day 11 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, March 14, held committee meetings throughout the week, and convened in Session on Wednesday and Thursday for Days 12 and 13.

There have been 774 bills introduced to date. Thirty-two committees met to consider multiple
bills.

The Legislature will be on break for the next two weeks and will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 4 for Legislative Day 14 of the Session with the Senate convening at 10:00 a.m. and the House at 1:00 p.m.

DURING THE WEEK:

The Governor made a return trip to the hospital on Tuesday for an irregular heartbeat. He was given medication and released. The Governor returned to work on Wednesday.

Jimmy Baker was named Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System where he has been acting Chancellor since Chancellor Mark Heinrich announced his retirement due to severe complications with shingles.

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK:

Following extended debate, the House passed the General Fund Budget bill for Fiscal Year 2018 which begins October 1, 2017. The bill would level fund most State agencies, including the Medicaid Agency which had requested additional amounts, and will not include pay increases for state employees. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB155 by Representative Steve Clouse].

The House passed a bill that would extend the current supplemental privilege assessment on each bed in a nursing facility for State Medicaid match through August 31, 2018. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB347 by Representative Steve Clouse].

The House passed a bill that would extend the private hospital assessment for State Medicaid match for fiscal year 2018. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB348 by Representative Steve Clouse].

The House passed a bill that would limit a ticket issuer’s use of a nontransferable ticketing system to allow for the ticket buyer to resell the ticket. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB265 by Representative Paul Lee].

The House passed a bill that would authorize health care providers to decline to perform services that violate their consciences. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB95 by Representative Arnold Mooney].

The House passed a bill, known as the “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” that would prohibit the state from taking adverse action against a foster or adoption agency that declines to place a child in a situation that conflicts with its’ religious beliefs. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB24 by Representative Rich Wingo].

The Senate passed a House bill that would further define the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license in a Class 2 municipality (Mobile) Entertainment District. The bill now goes to the Governor [HB185 by Representative James Buskey].

The Senate passed a House bill that would empower any Class 2 municipality (Mobile) to authorize, by municipal ordinance, the operation of low-speed vehicles upon certain city streets of the municipality under limited circumstances and conditions. As the bill was amended in the Senate, it must return to the House for action on the Senate amendment [HB230 by Representative Chris Pringle].

The Senate passed a bill that would repeal Acts 82-675 and 88-423 providing supplemental funding for certain salaries and expenses for the office of the District Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Mobile County. The bill now goes to the House [SB289 by Senator Rusty Glover].

The Senate passed a bill that would require the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to operate a driver’s license office in each county a minimum of one day each week. The bill is now pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [SB23 by Senator Hank Sanders].

The Senate passed a bill that would authorize counties and municipalities to create an authority for the purpose of acquiring real and personal property for lease to the state as a prison facility, authorize the Department of Corrections to issue bonds up to $350 million for renovation of existing prison facilities, and pledge a portion of ad valorem and spirit taxes to secure the bonds. The bill now goes to the House [SB302 by Senator Cam Ward].

Following extended debate, the Senate carried over the Education Trust Fund Budget bill for Fiscal Year 2018 which begins October 1, 2017. The bill would level fund higher education institutions, increase K-12 funding by $46 million, and increase Pre-K funding by $15 million [SB129 by Senator Arthur Orr].

SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK:

The House Ways and Means Education Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would reestablish the income tax credit, which expired in 2016, for the rehabilitation, preservation or development of certified historic structures [HB345 by Representative Victor Gaston].

The Senate Local Legislation Mobile County Committee carried over a bill that would clarify that the costs of the office related to the acceptance of credit cards shall include information technology, equipment, and employees in Mobile County [HB143 by Representative David Sessions].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that requires wireless communications service providers to provide location information to Law Enforcement in an emergency situation involving risk of death or serious bodily harm. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB5 by Representative Tommy Hanes].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would allow the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to employ police officers under certain conditions. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB193 by Senator Jabo Waggoner].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would establish a comprehensive list of felonies that involve moral turpitude that will result in the loss of the right to vote. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB282 by Representative Mike Jones].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would mandate that a defendant found guilty of murdering an on-duty law enforcement officer be given the death penalty. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB170 by Senator Gerald Dial].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would transfer the Marine Police Division from the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency to the Department of Conservation and National Resources. The bill now goes to the full House [HB151 by Representative Chris Sells].

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would authorize the Department of Revenue to issue temporary license plates for boat trailers sold out of State. The bill now goes to the full House [SB10 by Senator Bill Hightower].

The House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would authorize a municipality to rehire a retired Law Enforcement officer or firefighter at any time if authorized by local law and upon notice to the Director of the Ethics Commission. The bill now goes to the full House [HB222 by Representative Allen Treadaway].

The House State Government Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would regulate fantasy sports contests. The bill now goes to the full House [HB354 by Representative Alan Boothe].

The House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would establish a State Board of Midwifery to license and regulate the practice of certified professional midwifery. The bill now goes to the full House [HB316 by Representative Ken Johnson].

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would require transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft) to obtain a permit from the Public Service Commission, provide fare transparency, implement a nondiscrimination policy, meet certain safety and consumer protection requirements, prohibit municipalities from imposing taxes or business licenses on companies or drivers, and authorize municipalities to prohibit the companies and drivers from operating within the corporate limits of the municipality [HB283 by Representative David Faulkner].

SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTIONS THIS WEEK:

A bill was introduced in the House that would grant to any Class 2 municipality the authority to enact by ordinance provisions for enforcement of local and state building regulations for the maintenance of structures; provide for a judicial in rem foreclosure on non-owner occupied properties; and provide for recovery of taxpayer costs and transfer of title to property under certain circumstances. The bill is pending in the House Mobile County Legislation Committee [HB430 by Representative Barbara Drummond].

A bill was introduced in the House that would further provide for permits for shoreline restoration, including the use of living shoreline techniques, by riparian property owners in coastal areas. The bill is pending in the House State Government Committee [HB403 by Representative Randy Davis].

A bill was introduced in the House that would require all future concealed pistol permits to contain a color, laminated identification photograph. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB416 by Representative Rod Scott].

A bill was introduced in the House that would repeal certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of a firearm on certain property or in a motor vehicle with or without a concealed pistol permit. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB414 by Representative  Isaac Whorton].

A bill was introduced in the House that would allow local boards of education to adopt policies providing for the carrying of firearms by selected school personnel on school property and during school functions, allow a concealed pistol permit holder to carry a concealed pistol on the campus of an institution of higher education and would require a business entity who refuses to allow a person to carry a firearm on the business premises to adopt a policy providing for the protection of invitees. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB410 by Representative Mack Butler].

A bill was introduced in the House that would abolish the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA)and return law enforcement functions to the departments, divisions and other entities as they existed before the creation of ALEA. The bill is pending in the House State Government Committee [HB425 by Representative Phillip Pettus].

A bill was introduced in the House that would require the sheriff to provide feminine hygiene products for all female prisoners who are unable to provide them for themselves under certain conditions. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB399 by Representative Tim  Wadsworth].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would delete certain provisions for increases in the rate of a delivery license fee and to provide an exemption for taxpayers making a small amount of deliveries per year. The bill is pending in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee [SB316 by Senator Paul Sanford].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would provide for electronic assessment and collection of tolls that would be assessed either to an account holder with the toll entity or through the transmission of license plate information by a photo-monitoring system. The bill is pending in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee [SB320 by Senator Trip Pittman].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would provide that a municipality would be responsible for half of the housing, maintenance and medical care expenses of a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court if the child resides in a municipality with a specified population and to provide that the law enforcement agency in whose custody a child is initially held or detained is responsible for all transportation costs. The bill is pending in the Senate Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [SB324 by Senator Phil Williams].

BUDGETS

BILL NO.       SPONSOR                   SUBJECT                                   STATUS
HB15           Rep. Clouse       General Fund Budget                 Passed by House; pending in Senate F & T General Fund Committee

HB17           Rep. Poole    Education Trust Fund Budget        Pending in House Ways & Means Education Committee

SB12               Sen. Orr       Education Trust Fund Budget         Carried over in Senate

SB 150          Sen. Pittman      General Fund Budget                   Pending in Senate F & TGeneral Fund

MOBILE COUNTY AND CITY BILLS INTRODUCED

BILL NO.     SPONSOR            SUBJECT                       STATUS

HB143         Rep. Sessions    To clarify that the costs of the office
related to the acceptance of credit cards shall include information technology, equipment, and employees
Carried over by Senate Local Legislation Mobile County Committee

HB185    Rep. Buskey    Relating to entertainment districts in
Class 2 municipalities; to further define the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license.
Passed by both Houses; pending action by Governor

HB230    Rep. Pringle    To empower any Class 2 municipality
in the State of Alabama to authorize, by municipal ordinance, the operation of low-speed vehicles upon certain city streets of the municipality under limited circumstances and conditions.
Amended in Senate; pending action on amendment in House

HB389    Rep. Pringle    To delete the requirement that certain
sales of property and leases by the Mobile County School Board be approved by the Judge of Probate
Pending in House Mobile County Legislation Committee

HB430    Rep. Drummond    To grant to any Class 2 municipality
the authority to enact by ordinance provisions for enforcement of local and state building regulations for the maintenance of structures; provide for a judicial in rem foreclosure on non-owner occupied properties; and provide for recovery of taxpayer costs and transfer of title to property under certain circumstances.
Pending in House Mobile County Legislation Committee

SB289    Sen. Glover    To repeal Act No. 82-675, 1982 1st
Special Session, and Act No. 88-423, 1988 Regular Session, providing supplemental funding for certain salaries and expenses for the office of the District Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Mobile County.
Passed by Senate; pending in House Mobile County Legislation Committee

MOBILE COUNTY AND CITY BILLS ADVERTISED BUT NOT YET INTRODUCED SUBJECT   ADVERTISING  DATES

To establish a separate and distinct fund within Mobile County government to be known as the 21st Century Policing and Economic Fund; to provide for dedicated revenues to the fund; and direct the expenditures for certain purposes.
1/12/17 – 2/2/17

To ensure that any Integrated Care Network in a Class 2 municipality shall include a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) which shall be an equal option for qualifying individuals in an area where PACE exists.
1/12/17 – 2/2/17

To impose an additional fine for unlawful parking in a space designated for persons with disabilities or a space where official signs prohibit parking in Mobile County; and to provide for the distribution of funds collected.
1/19/17 – 2/9/17

To establish procedures for self-recruitment and hiring by an appointing authority of the Civil Service System of Mobile County
1/26/17 – 2/16/17

To propose local amendments to the Civil Service System in Mobile County; to provide for non-elected members of the Supervisory Committee; to provide for when the Supervisory Committee meets; to provide for how notice of the Supervisory Committee meeting is advertised; to provide for the qualifications for members of the Personnel Board; to provide for Personnel Board districts; to provide for Personnel Board member compensation; to provide for definitions of disabled persons; to provide for the establishment of pay ranges; to provide for the establishment of pay for entry level employees; to provide for pay steps for promotional employees; to provide for the methods of dismissals and suspensions of employees; to provide for the Personnel Board receiving legal services; to provide for the Personnel Board being a party in court proceedings.
2/9/17 – 3/2/17

Relating to Mobile County and the countywide civil service system; to amend Act No. 470 of the 1939 Regular Session (Acts 1939, p. 298), as amended, which established the countywide civil service system; by amending Section XI relating to the pay plan; to remove public safety employees from the exception to hiring at midrange to allow all professional and technical classes of positions to be treated equally.
3/9/17 – 3/30/17

MOBILE COUNTY AND CITY BILLS ADVERTISED BUT NOT YET INTRODUCED SUBJECT   ADVERTISING  DATES

Relating to Class 2 municipalities; to prohibit the State Department of Public Health from regulating or requiring a permit for intermittent food service establishments that otherwise do not prepare, sell, or distribute food in its regular line of business when that food service establishment prepares or distributes food in association with a regional celebratory event or custom.
3/16/17 – 4/6/17

SUMMARY STATISTICS

HOUSE BILLS    SENATE BILLS    TOTALS
Bills Introduced    438    336    774

Bills which have passed house of origin    11    89    200
Bills which have passed both houses    36    10    46
Bills which are pending Governor’s signature    10    4    14
Bills which have been vetoed    0    0    0
Constitutional Amendment Bills pending referendum    1    0    1
Bills enacted    25    6    31

 

Article provided by Beth Marietta Lyons, Lyons Law Firm.

 

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