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Week 9: Alabama Legislative Report — April 27

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.

DURING THE WEEK

Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore held a press conference and announced his formal resignation from the Alabama Supreme Court. He also announced that he would be a candidate for the U. S. Senate seat up for election this year.

Governor Ivey appointed Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart to serve as Chief Justice for the remainder of the term which expires in 2018.

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The Alabama Legislature honored former Auburn University and Major League Baseball player Tim Hudson during a joint legislative session on the House floor. He was honored for his athletic achievements and contributions to improving the lives of children through the Hudson Family Foundation.

Justice Tom Parker announced that he would run for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court next year.

The Alabama Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by the Alabama Democratic Conference that challenged the 2010 law banning transfers between Political Action Committees.

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK

The House concurred in a Senate amendment to a House proposed Constitutional Amendment that would support the rights of unborn children, namely the right to life, and would specify that the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion. The bill was received by the Secretary of State for placement on the 2018 general election ballot [HB98 by Representative Matt Fridy].

The Senate passed a House bill that would give the Poarch Band of Creek Indians the authority to employ police officers for the protection of the reservation and the safety of the tribe. The bill now goes to the Governor [HB294 by Representative Connie Rowe].

The House amended and passed a bill that would authorize a local governing body of a county or municipality, where the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed, to extend the time of sale to commence at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday for on-premises consumption under limited circumstances. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB353 by Representative Juandalynn Givan].

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The House amended and passed, following a lengthy debate, a Senate bill, known as the “Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017,” that would prohibit, without court approval or a multi-stage process and approval from a state committee, the removal or alteration of statues and monuments on state, city, and county properties and prohibit the removal and renaming of buildings, schools, streets, bridges, etc. The bill returns to the Senate for action on the House amendments [SB60 by Senator Gerald Allen].

The Senate passed a bill that would authorize the city council of a municipality to adopt an ordinance for civil parking enforcement and collection. The bill now goes to the House [SB280 by Senator Jabo Waggoner].

The Senate amended and passed a House bill that would expand the definition of a “Community Development District” to include certain areas with marinas. The bill now returns to the House for action on the Senate amendments [HB47 by Representative James Buskey].

The House amended and passed a Senate bill that would create a Legislative Services Agency which would consolidate Legislative Fiscal Office, Legislative Reference Service and the Alabama Law Institute under the new Agency. The bill returned to the Senate where the Senate concurred with the House amendments and now goes to the Governor [SB4 by Senator Gerald Dial].

The House passed a bill that would allow a midwife who holds current midwifery certification from an organization accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence to practice midwifery in the State of Alabama. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB315 by Representative Ken Johnson].

The House passed a bill that would increase the amount of income tax credits for the purchase and installation of irrigation equipment or the conversion of irrigation equipment from fuel to electricity. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB387 by Representative Donnie Chesteen].

SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK

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The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would authorize a county commission to call for a referendum on the levy of an excise tax on gasoline and motor fuel for specific road and bridge projects identified by the county prior to the referendum. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB386 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would extend eligibility for incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act to December 31, 2023 and would exempt projects which create at least 500 jobs or make a capital investment of at least $100 million from the $850 million aggregate cap on outstanding incentives. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB373 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Judiciary Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a House 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 full Senate [HB265 by Representative Paul Lee].

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would provide civil immunity to volunteers without compensation who are under the direction of a primary home caregiver. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB175 by Representative April Weaver].

The House Ways and Means Education Fund held a public hearing, amended and gave a favorable report to the $6.4 million Senate Education Budget bill that would give a $12 million increase to K-12, a $13.5 increase to Pre-K, an additional $7.4 million for retirement funding, provide funds for an additional 152 teachers for grades 4 through 6, and level fund 4 year colleges and universities and the teacher’s health insurance (PEEHIP). The bill now goes to the full House [SB129 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The House State Government Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would provide an exemption from municipal delivery business license fees of businesses if deliveries do not exceed $10,000 per year and the business has no physical presence in the municipality or its police jurisdiction. The bill now goes to the full House [SB316 by Senator Paul Sanford].

The House Education Policy Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would allow school districts to educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations and allow students and staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations. The bill now goes to the full House [HB549 by Representative Mack Butler].

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The House Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would further provide for the Alabama Transportation Infrastructure Bank to authorize additional tax revenue to be pledged to pay and secure revenue bonds issued by the bank, to add provisions relating to the granting of other financial assistance and specify that the bank would be a non-profit corporation. The bill now goes to the full House [HB530 by Representative Margie Wilcox].

The House Judiciary Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would authorize a municipal court judge to remit court costs where it is determined a defendant cannot afford to pay the full amount and remove the authority of a mayor to commute sentences. The bill now goes to the full House [SB281 by Senator Cam Ward].

The House State Government Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prohibit the 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. The bill now goes to the full House [HB462 by Representative Margie Wilcox].

The House State Government Committee gave a favorable report to a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would require the Forever Wild Land Trust to reimburse any ad valorem taxes lost as a result of the acquisition of land by the Trust. The bill now goes to the full House [HB502 by Representative Mark Tuggle].

The House Mobile County Legislation Committee gave a favorable report to a Mobile County Local bill that would prohibit the Mobile County Health Department 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. The bill now goes to the full House [HB528 by Representative Margie Wilcox].

The Senate Local Legislation Mobile County Committee gave a favorable report to a Mobile County Local bill that would delete the requirement that certain sales of property and leases by the Mobile County School Board be approved by the Judge of Probate. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB389 by Representative Chris Pringle];

SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTIONS THIS WEEK

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A bill was introduced in the House that would repeal the Entertainment Industry Incentive Act of 2009. The bill is pending in the House Ways and Means Education Committee [HB554 by Representative Phil Williams].

A bill was introduced in the House that would terminate the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, also known as Common Core Standard, and replace them with the standards in place before Common Core was adopted. The bill is pending in the House Education Policy Committee [HB558 by Representative Barry Moore].

A bill was introduced in the House that would repeal the Alabama New Markets Development Act. The bill is pending in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee [HB570 by Representative Phil Williams].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would limit a municipality to spending the proceeds from a municipal excise tax or fee on gasoline only for the purchase or lease of equipment or purchase of materials essential to specific road or bridge maintenance, improvement, replacement , and construction projects. The bill is pending in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee [SB401 by Senator Gerald Dial].

A proposed Constitutional Amendment was introduced in the Senate that would require that any tax credit, exemption, deduction or preferential tax rate enacted beginning with the 2019 Regular Session of the Legislature to expire within 5 years from the effective date of the act unless extended by an act of the Legislature [SB405 by Senator Bill Hightower].

A bill was introduced in both Houses that would provide for the reapportionment and redistricting of the state legislative districts in order to comply with a federal court order [HB571 by Representative Randy Davis and SB403 by Senator Gerald Dial].

BUDGETS

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The General Fund Budget has been passed by House; pending in Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund Committee

The Education Trust Fund Budget has been passed by Senate; Amended and received favorable report from the House Ways & Means Education Committee; pending action by full House

SIGNIFICANT BILLS ENACTED

  • SB79 by Sen. Pittman relating to Baldwin County; to authorize commission to levy an excise tax on the business of selling, distributing, storing, or withdrawing from storage gasoline or motor fuel and substitutes in the county not to exceed three cents per gallon
  • HB185 by Rep. Buskey relating to entertainment districts in Class 2 municipalities; to further define the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license
  • SB136 by Sen. Melson to change the annual sales tax holiday from the first Friday in August to the third Friday in July
  • SB95 by Sen. Pittman to clarify the process for calculation, distribution, and retention of excess funds held by a county following the sale of real estate for taxeS
  • SB16 by Sen. Brewbaker to prohibit a judge from overriding a jury’s sentencing verdict in capital cases
  • HB230 by 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.
  • SB32 by Sen. Orr to require students to pass a 100 question civics test, with certain exemptions, before graduating from high school or obtaining a high school equivalency diploma
  • HB98 by Rep. Fridy for constitutional Amendment; to support the rights of unborn children, namely the right to life, and would specify that the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion
  • HB95 by Rep. Mooney to authorize health care providers to decline to perform services that violate their consciences

SUMMARIES

  • Bills introduced: 982
  • Bills which have passed house of origin: 366
  • Bills which have passed both houses: 108
  • Bills which are pending governor’s signature: 36
  • Bills which have been vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional amendments pending referendum: 4
  • Bills enacted: 68
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DIG DEEPER