By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, April 15, is promising to be another busy day of committee meetings in the Alabama Legislature.
The House Education Policy Committee will hold a Public Hearing on SB191. SB191 would establish a new Board to oversee Postsecondary Education. The bill would transfer responsibility over two-year institutions of higher education from the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education to the State Board of Postsecondary Education and the State Department of Postsecondary Education. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman from Montrose. The public hearing will be in Room 418 at 1:30 pm.
The Education Policy Committee is expected to vote on HB236, the “Tim Tebow bill” which would allow students being educated by their parents, by private tutors, or in Church school to participate in extracurricular activities of their choice at their local taxpayer supported public school if they so choose.
The House Constitution Campaigns & Elections committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 379, sponsored by State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle). HB 379. If passed HB 379 would adopt the Compact for a Balanced Budget to facilitate the calling of an Article V constitutional convention to amend the United States Constitution to include a balanced budget requirement for Congress. The public hearing will be in Room 321 at 9:00 am.
The Committee will also address Senate Bills 25, 26, and 27 which rewrite whole sections of the 1901 Alabama Constitution. In 2014 Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore ruled that the process by which legislators are rewriting the State Constitution is unconstitutional and any article by article modernization should have been done by Constitutional Convention. The legislators have proceeded anyway.
The Senate Health Committee will hold a public hearing on HB56. This bill would protect the religious liberties of probate judges and other officials from not being forced to solemnize marriages that offend their conscience. HB 56 is sponsored by Judge Jim Hill (R-Odenville).
Some pro-homosexual groups have claimed that HB56 is discriminatory. The Health Committee will meet in room 304 at 12 noon.
The Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee will hold a public hearing on HB393 sponsored by State Representative Elain Beech (D-Chatom). HB393 would authorize Intelligence Analysts of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to inspect prescriptions, orders, and records relating to controlled substances, including the Controlled Substances Prescription Database, and stocks of Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V controlled substances. ALEA is the successor agency to the Department of Public Safety who already had those powers. The hearing will be at 9:00 am in room 418.
The County & Municipal Government Committee is holding a public hearing on HB434, sponsored by State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Bay Minette). Under existing law, a county superintendent of education may be elected if authorized under a local law or amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. This bill would require all county superintendents to be appointed by the county board of education, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.
The Senate Education Committee is considering the University of Alabama Board of Trustees Expansion to include representatives from UAB and UAH (SB348), changes to the Alabama Accountability Act (SB329) and repeal of the controversial Common Core standards (SB101).
The House Committees are considering 64 bills and the Senate Committees are considering 26 bills.