By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
All those well-versed in Alabama politics seem to agree: 2014’s legislative session, which begins today, is due to be nothing more than a quiet, happy-go-lucky campaign ad for the (mostly) Republican incumbents who are ready to campaign for the 2014 election cycle. Nothing could be further down the Alabama GOP’s to do list than stirring up controversy, while campaign donors have their eyes trained on Goat Hill this quadrennial year.
Because of this need for calm before the electoral storm, legislators have cut down on the number of controversial proposed bills – again with some notable exceptions. Instead, bill after bill has emerged – all noncontroversial, under the radar issues – that no one in Alabama will probably hear about again.
Below is a small sampling of some of the completely boring bills prefiled for the session which begins today:
House of Representatives
HB101 Rep. Brown: Calls for changes in definitions in a statute related to the Funeral Board
HB98 Rep. Jim Patterson: Queen honey bee designated as the Official State Agriculture Insect of Alabama
HB60 Rep. Hurst: Change in number of vanity tags for farmers
HB25 Rep. Kurt Wallace: limited liability for certain motorcycle and 4 wheel off road events assessed
SB110 Sen. Ward: removes a requirement that the Secretary of State publish certain Supreme Court proceedings in the Acts of Alabama
SB54 Sen. Dial: redefines tuition in a law concerning the National Guard
SB48 Sen. Scofield: redefines employing unit in unemployment legislation
Tax Exemption Bills
During election year sessions, tax exemption bills for constituent nonprofits also become as popular as iced tea. See the list below:
HB121 & HB 129 , SB96 & SB39 Sen. Whatley, Reps. McClurkin and Joe Hubbard (D) for private school sales and use tax exemptions
SB71 Sen. Sanford for the health savings account income tax exemptions
HB35 Rep. Bridges for Arc of Alabama
HB41 & HB140 Rep. Todd (D) for Three Hots and a Cot and KidOne Transport, Inc.