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Sine Die: Final Alabama Legislative Report — May 23

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Legislature completed its 2017 Regular Session on Friday evening May 19, 2017. Unless the Governor calls a Special Session, the Legislature will next convene on Tuesday January 9, 2018 for the 2018 Regular Session.

There were 1030 bills introduced during the Regular Session. 136 (13 percent) bills, including local bills, have been enacted and 164 are awaiting action by the Governor.

Bills passed in the last 5 days of the Session have 10 days from the date of adjournment to be signed by the Governor or they are “Pocket” Vetoed.

The bills below received final passage of the Legislature. Many of them await the Governor’s signature. If already enacted, the Act Number is included:

SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE

HISTORIC TAX CREDIT: To reestablish the income tax credit, which expired in 2016, for the rehabilitation, preservation or development of certified historic structures 60 years or older [HB345 by Representative Victor Gaston].

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SENATE REDISTRICTING: To provide for the reapportionment and redistricting of the state Senate districts for elections in 2018 [SB403 by Senator Gerald Dial].

HOUSE REDISTRICTING: To provide for the reapportionment and redistricting of the state House districts for elections in 2018 [HB571 by Representative Randy Davis].

JUDICIAL OVERRIDE: To prohibit a judge from overriding a jury’s sentencing verdict in capital cases [SB16 by Senator Dick Brewbaker]. ENACTED: 2017-131

RIGHT TO LIFE: 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 [HB98 by Representative Matt Fridy]. ENACTED: 2017-188

AUTISM: To require health benefit plans to offer coverage for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder for a child age eighteen or under for certain group insurance plans and contracts [HB284 by Representative Jim Patterson]. ENACTED: 2017-337

MONUMENTS: The “Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017” that affirmatively prohibits the removal, renovation or improvement of statues, monuments, buildings (excepting K-12 school buildings), streets and bridges if in place more than 40 years or, if in place less than 40 years but more than 20, requires a multi-stage process and approval from a state committee [SB60 by Senator Gerald Allen].

MIDWIFERY: To 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 [HB315 by Representative Ken Johnson].

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IRRIGATION TAX CREDIT: To increase the maximum income tax credit for the purchase and installation of irrigation equipment and the conversion of irrigation equipment from fuel to electricity [SB257 by Senator Arthur Orr].

EDUCATION TRUST FUND BUDGET: The $6.4 billion Senate Education Budget bill that would give a $12 million increase to K-12, a $13.5 million 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) [SB129 by Senator Arthur Orr]. ENACTED: ENACTED: 2017-335

GENERAL FUND BUDGET: The $1.846 billion General Fund Budget bill for fiscal year 2018 that includes approximately $100 million from the BP settlement, would level fund most state agencies, allocate $701 million to the Medicaid Agency, and reduce funding for the Governor’s office [HB155 by Representative Steve Clouse]. ENACTED: 2017-338

BRUNCH: To authorize a local governing body of a county or municipality, where the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages is allowed and when the referendum did not set the time, to extend the time to 10:00 a.m. on Sunday for on-premises consumption under limited circumstances [HB353 by Representative Juandalynn Givan].

ADOPTION RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The “Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act,” that prohibits the state from taking adverse action against an adoption agency that declines to place a child in a situation that conflicts with its religious beliefs [HB24 by Representative Rich Wingo]. ENACTED: 2017-213

RIGHT OF CONSCIENCE ACT: To authorize health care providers to decline to perform services that violate their consciences [HB95 by Representative Arnold Mooney]. ENACTED: 2017-189

DEATH PENALTY APPEALS: To shorten the time for an appellant to file petitions for post-conviction remedies in death penalty cases [SB187 by Senator Cam Ward].

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CROSSOVER VOTING: To prohibit a voter from voting in a primary runoff election unless the voter voted in the primary election of the party for which the runoff election is being held [SB108 by Senator Tom Whatley]. ENACTED: 2017-340

ABANDONED BUILDINGS: To grant to any Class 2 municipality (Mobile) 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 of non-owner occupied properties; and provide for recovery of taxpayer costs and transfer of title to property under certain circumstances [HB430 by Representative Barbara Drummond]. ENACTED: 2017-304

CRAWFISH: To establish the regulatory authority for the Mobile County Health Department to regulate intermittent food service establishments that prepare food in association with a temporary exempt event that is a regional celebration, tradition, or cultural event that is designated as such by the City of Mobile [HB528 by Representative Margie Wilcox].

DELIVERY LICENSES: To 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 [SB316 by Senator Paul Sanford].

BALDWIN COUNTY GAS TAX: Relating to Baldwin County; to authorize the county commission to levy an excise tax not to exceed three cents per gallon on the business of selling, distributing, storing, or withdrawing from storage gasoline or motor fuel and substitutes in the county [SB79 by Senator Trip Pittman]. ENACTED: 2017-67

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICTS: Relating to entertainment districts in Class 2 municipalities (Mobile); to explicitly authorize sidewalk sales by defining the licensed premises of a holder of a retail liquor license [HB185 by Representative James Buskey]. ENACTED: 2017-87

ANNUAL SALES TAX HOLIDAY: To change the annual sales tax holiday from the first Friday in August to the third Friday in July [SB136 by Senator Tim Melson]. ENACTED: 2017-120

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EXCESS FUNDS: To clarify the process for calculation, distribution, and retention of excess funds held by a county following the sale of real estate for taxes [SB95 by Senator Trip Pittman]. ENACTED: 2017-130

LOW-SPEED VEHICLES: To empower any Class 2 municipality (Mobile) 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 [HB230 by Representative Chris Pringle]. ENACTED: 2017-150

CIVICS TEST: 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 [SB32 by Senator Arthur Orr]. ENACTED: 2017-173

DA BILL: To repeal Act No. 82-675, 1982 1st Special Session, and Act No. 88-423, 1988 Regular Session, which provided supplemental funding for certain salaries and expenses for the office of the District Attorney of the 13th Judicial Circuit in Mobile County [SB289 by Senator Rusty Glover]. ENACTED: 2017-211

LEGISLATIVE SERVICES AGENCY: To create a Legislative Services Agency which would consolidate Legislative Fiscal Office, Legislative Reference Service and the Alabama Law Institute under the new Agency [SB4 by Senator Gerald Dial]. ENACTED: 2017-214

ASSISTED SUICIDE BAN ACT: The “Assisted Suicide Ban Act,” that would prohibit a person or health care provider from providing aid in dying to another person [HB96 by Representative Mack Butler]. ENACTED: 2017-231

COUNTY AGRICULTURE AUTHORITY: To authorize counties to establish an agriculture authority to promote agricultural businesses, operations, commodities, workforce development and economic development within the county [SB345 by Senator Tim Melson]. ENACTED: 2017-246

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BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL SALARY: To provide that the annual salary of the city council of a Class 1 municipality (Birmingham) would be set at the beginning of each term by the State Personnel Board based on the median household income of the city [SB247 by Senator Jabo Waggoner]. ENACTED: 2017-275

SUNSCREEN: To allow students to possess and use sunscreen at school and school-based events [SB63 by Senator Jim McClendon]. ENACTED: 2017-278

PAROLEE ID CARDS: To give the Department of Corrections the authority to establish a program to issue a nondriver identification card to a resident parolee upon his or her release from prison [SB102 by Senator Quinton Ross]. ENACTED 2017-281

COUNTY IMATE MEDICAID: To suspend, but not terminate, eligibility for Medicaid for county inmates and juveniles under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court [HB211 by Representative Chris England]. ENACTED: 2017-298

MOBILE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD PROPERTY SALES: To delete the requirement that certain sales of property and leases by the Mobile County School Board be approved by the Judge of Probate [HB389 by Representative Chris Pringle]. ENACTED: 2017-303

ALABAMA JOBS ACT: To extend eligibility for incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act to December 31, 2023 and exempt megaprojects from the $850 million aggregate cap on incentives if they create at least 500 jobs or make a capital investment of $100 million or greater [HB574 by Representative Alan Baker]. ENACTED: 2017-314

FAITH-BASED BOARDING SCHOOLS: To require religious or faith-based boarding schools or facilities that house children to be registered and inspected by the Department of Human Resources and to perform criminal background checks on employees and potential employees [HB440 by Representative Steve McMillan].

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REHIRE OF RETIRED PUBLIC SAFETY: To 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 [HB222 by Representative Allen Treadaway].

THERAPY DOGS: To permit registered therapy dogs to accompany witnesses in legal proceedings [SB273 by Senator Jimmy Holley].

SIGNIFICANT BILLS THAT FAILED

UBER/LYFT: To allow transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft) to be regulated by the Public Service Commission rather than local governments [HB283 by Representative David Faulkner].

GAS TAX: To establish the Alabama Road and Bridge Rehabilitation and Improvement Authority to be funded by additional gasoline and diesel fuel excise taxes [HB487 by Representative Bill Poole].

PRISONS: To 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 [SB302 by Senator Cam Ward].

PRIVATE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS: To amend the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 to create a credit against utility gross receipts tax liability for donations to scholarship granting organizations [SB123 by Senator Del Marsh].

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CHILD CARE LICENSING: To remove certain exemptions from licensure for child care facilities that are part of a church or nonprofit religious school, require confidential state inspections, criminal history records on employees and maintenance of the immunization records on all children, and licensure if state or federal funds are received for children in the facility [HB277 by Representative Pebblin Warren].

FANTASY SPORTS CONTESTS: To exempt fantasy sports contests from the prohibition against gambling and provide for regulation and registration of operators [HB354 by Representative Alan Boothe].

CHURCH POLICE: To allow the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to employ police officers under certain conditions [SB193 by Senator Jabo Waggoner].

PERMITLESS GUN CARY: To allow a person to carry a pistol without a pistol permit on property under his or her control, including vehicles and places of business [SB24 by Senator Gerald Allen].

TICKET SALES: To limit a ticket issuer’s use of a nontransferable ticketing system to allow for the ticket buyer to resell the ticket[HB265 by Representative Paul Lee].

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: To exempt prescription drug sales from the computation of city business license taxes based on gross receipts [SB31 by Senator Billy Beasley].

HOME HEALTH CARE: To exempt certain home health care providers who do not maintain an office within a municipality or county from purchasing a municipal or county business license [HB441 by Representative Ron Johnson].

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PRIVATE AUCTIONS: To require the Land Commissioner to contract with a qualified auction company to sell at public auction lands, except lands in jurisdictions that have adopted expedited quiet title laws, which were sold for taxes and have not been redeemed within five years from the date the land was sold [SB264 by Senator Trip Pittman].

LODGING TAX: To specifically provide that the rental of any portion of a hotel, motel, etc. which is not used as sleeping accommodations would not be subject to the lodging tax [SB395 by Senator Trip Pittman].

COST SHARING FOR JUVENILES: To 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 within 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 [SB324 by Senator Phil Williams].

PUBLIC FUNDS FOR SCHOOL REFERENDUMS: To prohibit colleges, universities, local boards of education and public schools from using public funds or public property to advocate for or against ballot measures [SB101 by Senator Arthur Orr].

RIGHT-OF-WAY FEES: To limit the amount that cities can negotiate with companies for right-of- way fees to undefined actual costs incurred by the city [HB62 by Representative Elaine Beech].

GOV AND LT. GOV ELECTED JOINTLY: To require the Governor and Lt. Governor to be elected jointly, remove the Lt. Governor as the president of the Senate, and provide that the sole duty of the Lt. Governor would be to succeed the Governor upon his removal from office [SB371 by Senator Gerald Dial].

TECHNOLOGOY EDUCATION: To make a supplemental appropriation fro the Education Trust Fund Advancement and Technology Fund to public education institutions of higher education ($15 million) and the Department of Education ($41 million) for technology upgrades and infrastructure [SB307 by Senator Arthur Orr].

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DIESEL EXHAUST SYSTEM: To require municipal fire departments to install a diesel exhaust system in each fire station building within five years [HB1 by Representative Tommy Hanes].

COMMON CORE: To terminate the adoption and implementation of the standards commonly known as the Common Core Standards or Alabama College and Career Ready Standards and direct the State Board of Education to replace the courses of study in place immediately prior to the adoption of the Common Core Standards [SB415 by Senator Harri Anne Smith].

TEN COMMANDMENTS: Constitutional Amendment to allow the display of the Ten Commandments on property owned by the state [SB139 by Senator Gerald Dial].

SUMMARIES

  • Bills Introduced: 1,030
  • Bills Which Have Passed House of Origin: 472
  • Bills Which Have Passed Both Houses: 300
  • Bills Which Are Pending Governor’s Signature: 163
  • Bills Which Have Been Vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional Amendment Bills Pending Referendum: 7
  • Bills Enacted: 130
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