Week 9: Alabama Legislative Report — April 27

April 30, 2017

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened in Session for Day 20 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, April 25, held 31 committee meetings throughout the week, and convened in Session on Thursday for Day 21.

There have been 982 bills introduced to date.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday May 2 for Legislative Day 22 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2:00 p.m.

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New Districting plans released

April 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 27, the Joint Committee on Redistricting released their proposed Alabama House and Senate Districts for the 2018 elections.

The previous redistricting plan was approved by the Obama Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Despite this the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference sued the State and took the case all the way to the US Supreme Court which rejected the old plan because it found that minorities were stacked in majority minority districts. The Supreme Court sent the redistricting back to the Appeals court in Atlanta which ordered the Alabama Legislature to redo the plan.
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Millennial-aged lawmakers create bipartisan Alabama Future Caucus

April 28, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Several Alabama lawmakers are launching a new bipartisan caucus focused on solving partisan strife and problems facing young Alabamians.

Caucus co-chairs Rep. Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa) and Rep. Kyle South (R-Fayette) joined by seven other millennial-aged lawmakers, announced the creation of the Alabama Future Caucus on Thursday.

The caucus is made up of lawmakers of ages 40 and under who are concerned with the youth and future of the State of Alabama, England said Thursday.

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House passes Memorials Bill

April 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 17, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 60, the Memorials Preservation Act. SB60 was sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa). The bill was carried in the House by State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City).

Rep. Mack Butler said on social media, “After several hours of lively debate we passed SB 60 which is the Memorial Preservation Act which deals with the preservation of Alabama’s monuments.”
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Brooks wants El Chapo to pay for border wall

April 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, April 27, 2017, US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) filed House companion legislation for the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act, HR2186. This legislation was recently introduced in the Senate by US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The EL CHAPO Act would use approximately $14 billion of the fortune belonging to famed Mexican drug lord, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera “El Chapo” to pay for President Trump’s controversial border wall plan.
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House rejects Bill to decrease limits on home repairs that you can do without a license

April 28, 2017

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, April 26, a bill that would have forced many “handymen” to either become state licensed home repairmen or get out of the business was defeated in the Alabama House on the Budget Isolation Resolution (BIR). House Bill 341 was sponsored by State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Bay Minette).

Rep. McMillan said that insurance companies give a cost break to homeowners with fortified roofs. HB341 would require that the roofing/building industry inform the public of their option to have a fortified roof. Many homeowners could get reduced insurance premiums if they would install a fortified roof instead of simply replacing the roof that they have. This bill would require roofers to inform the homeowner of this option. The bill also lowers the threshold needed to be able to do work on homes without having a home license from the State Home Builders Licensure Board to just $1000 worth of work. The current threshold is $10,000. McMillan said that they would amend the bill to $5000 on the floor.
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Lyn Stuart becomes State’s second female Chief Justice

April 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — For the first time in Alabama’s history, women are at the helm of two of the State’s Branches of Government.

On Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey appointed Associate Justice Lyn Stuart to lead Alabama’s judicial system as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Stuart, only the second woman to become chief justice in the state, had been serving as Acting Chief Justice since Chief Justice Roy Moore’s suspension in May 2016.

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Roy Moore has a real shot at the US Senate, but so does a Democrat

April 27, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Roy Moore is running for US Senate.

Moore announced his plans to run for the seat vacated by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the steps of the Alabama Capitol building, an audience of a few dozen supporters cheering him on.

And because Roy Moore is Roy Moore, he didn’t disappoint the group.

He bemoaned the State of the God-denying country, promised to fight the Federal government’s attempts to force education on our Alabama children and told everyone that in order to make America great again, we have to first make it good again.
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An executive amendment from the Governor could hold up controversial adoption bill

April 27, 2017

By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey is considering an executive amendment to a controversial bill passed by the Alabama Legislature this week that would give faith-based adoption agencies the right to deny services to same-sex couples.

Ivey is considering a relatively minor change to the bill, sources close to the governor have told the Alabama Political Reporter. But applying an executive amendment to the bill would send it back to the Legislature for another round of votes, where it could get lost in the chaos as the end of the 2017 legislative session looms.

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Legislation threatens Alabama Film Office

April 27, 2017

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

Math is hard for some people.

No one understands that better than Sen. Gerald Dial, who spent the better part of Wednesday giving math lessons – specifically, lessons on how percentages work – to a few legislative colleagues.

Dial mainly focused on those colleagues who sought to repeal a 2009 law he sponsored that established the Alabama Film Office and the “entertainment industry incentive act.”
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