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Week Two Legislative Report: A slow week but still some action

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 3 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, January 16. Committee meetings originally scheduled for Wednesday were cancelled due to weather conditions. Some of the meetings were rescheduled for Thursday while others were postponed until next week. Both Houses convened briefly on Thursday, January 18 but recessed so that members could attend committee meetings.

There have been 461 bills introduced to date. Thirteen committees met to consider multiple bills.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, January 23 for day 5 of the Session with the Senate convening at 2:00 p.m. and the House at 3:00 p.m. Twenty-three committees have scheduled meetings as of the time of this report.

SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTIONS THIS WEEK

A bill was introduced in the House that would provide for all candidates to be on one ballot for the primary election; the two candidates who receive the highest number of votes, regardless of party affiliation, would be placed on the general election ballot. The bill is pending in the House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee [HB214 by Representative Mike Ball].

A bill was introduced in the House that would provide for the redistribution of in-lieu-of-taxes payments made by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The bill is pending in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee [HB215 by Representative Chris Pringle].

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A proposed Constitutional Amendment was introduced in the House that would provide that the people may propose the enactment of general laws and constitutional amendments by an initiative measure and ratify or reject statutes and resolutions by referendum subject to the same limitations imposed on the Legislature. The bill is pending in the House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee [HB235 by Representative Isaac Whorton].

A bill was introduced in the House that would exempt the sale of food from sales and use taxes beginning September 1, 2018. The bill is pending in the House Ways and Means Education Committee [HB238 by Representative John Knight].

A bill was introduced in the House that would allow public schools, as a portion of instruction regarding the scientific origins of man and earth, to include the Biblical theory of creation as long as evolution is also taught. The bill is pending in the House Education Policy Committee [HB258 by Representative Steve Hurst].

A bill was introduced in the House that would clarify that an agricultural trade or business that purchases and installs irrigation equipment or a reservoir may claim one tax credit during tax years 2011 through 2017 and one tax credit during tax years 2018 through 2022. The bill is pending in the House Ways and Means Education Committee [HB260 by Representative Donnie Chesteen].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would require an entity entering into a public-private agreement of $50,000 or more to occur on public property or public right-of-way to be subjected to certain requirements public works contracts. The bill is pending in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee [SB184 by Senator Arthur Orr].

A proposed Constitutional Amendment was introduced in the Senate that would require any tax credit, exemption, deduction of preferential tax rate enacted in 2019 or later to expire within seven years of the effective date unless extended by the Legislature. The bill is pending in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee [SB187 by Senator Bill Hightower].

SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK

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The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would amend the Simplified Sellers Use Tax Program. This would allow online sellers, even when they have a retail sales facility in the state, to participate in the program and pay a lower sales tax rate [SB130 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would remove or amend the distribution of some state tax revenues [SB131 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee gave a favorable report, with the understanding that a substitute bill was being negotiated, to a bill that would prohibit municipalities from regulating transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft) and provide for permitting and licensing by the Public Service Commission. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB143 by Senator Bobby Singleton].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide for the voluntary transfer of a case from municipal court to the county district or circuit court when the defendant qualifies for a pretrial diversion program, mental health court, veteran court or similar program. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB37 by Senator Cam Ward].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would revise some of the procedures related to the Alabama Disaster Recovery Program. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB43 by Senator Greg Albritton].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would give the Poarch Band of Creek Indians the power and authority to employ police officers for the protection of the reservation and the tribe. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB170 by Senator Greg Albritton].

The House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would create the State Transportation Commission. The bill now goes to the full House [HB25 by Representative Chris Pringle].

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The House Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide for the termination of parental rights of any person who commits the crime of rape in the first degree if the rape results in the conception of the child. The bill now goes to the full House [HB38 by Representative Jack (JD) Williams].

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK

The Senate carried over a bill that would extend the State Pilotage Commission [SB74 by Senator
Paul Bussman].

The Senate amended and passed a bill that would require county and municipal police departments and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to adopt written policies to prohibit racial profiling, compile statistic on traffic stops and file reports with the Attorney General’s Office. The bill is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee [SB84 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

The Senate passed a bill that would abolish the requirement that a marriage license be issued by the judge of probate; instead the marriage would be entered into by contract which would be recorded with the judge of probate following execution. The bill is now pending in the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee [SB13 by Senator Greg Albritton].

The Senate passed a bill that would give counties the authority to abate rollback ad valorem taxes for certain projects that qualify for the incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act. The bill is now pending in the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee [SB98 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The House passed a bill that would offer active and retired military personnel free admission to all Alabama State Parks on state and federal holidays. The bill is now pending in the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee [HB58 by Representative Dickie Drake].

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The House passed a bill that would allow certain small businesses to qualify for a tax credit for hiring an unemployed veteran regardless of when the veteran was discharged from active service. The bill is now pending in the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee [HB83 by Representative Connie Rowe].

The House passed a bill that would require a right-of-redemption claim be exercised no later than one year after the date of foreclosure. The bill is now pending in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee [HB90 by Representative Kerry Rich].

The House passed a bill that would substantially revise the provisions governing the operation of the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts. The bill is now pending in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee [HB131 by Representative Chris Pringle].

BUDGETS

The State General Fund Budget, HB 156 by Rep. Clouse and SB 178 by Sen. Pittman, are pending in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee and the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, respectively.

The Education Trust Fund Budget, HB175 by Rep. Poole and SB165 by Sen. Orr, is pending in the House Ways and Means Education Committee and the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

SUMMARY

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  • Bills introduced: 461
  • Bills that have passed chamber of origin: 30
  • Bills that have passed both houses: 0
  • Bills waiting for governor’s signature: 0
Written By

DIG DEEPER

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