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Week Seven Legislative Report: Budgets pass houses of origin

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

Contributed by Beth Marietta Lyons
Lyons Law Firm

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 13 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, February 20 with 35 committee meetings held throughout the week to consider legislation. Both Houses then convened on Thursday, February 22 for Day 14. The Session will reach the halfway point on Tuesday.

There have been 795 bills introduced to date.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, February 27 for day 15 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 2:00 p.m. Fifteen committees have scheduled meetings as of the time of this report.

Significant Introductions This Week:

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would substantially amend and clarify the Alabama Ethics Act passed in 2010. The bill is pending in the Senate Constitution, Ethics and Elections Committee [SB343 by Senator Del Marsh].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would add a manufacturers license that conducts tastings or samplings to the types of alcoholic beverage licenses in an area where a municipality seeks to establish an entertainment district. The bill is pending in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee [SB339 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

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A bill was introduced in the Senate that would exempt fantasy sports contests from the prohibition against gambling and provide for regulation and registration of operators. The bill is pending in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee [SB325 by Senator Paul Sanford].

A proposed Constitutional Amendment was introduced in the Senate that would allow the state to participate in multi-state lottery games. The bill is pending in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee [SB326 by Senator Paul Sanford].

A bill was introduced in the House that would abolish the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) and return the law enforcement functions consolidated within ALEA to the various offices, departments, divisions and other entities and agencies with which they existed before the creation of ALEA. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB441 by Representative Phillip Pettus].

A bill was introduced in the House that would prohibit the sale of assault weapons to anyone under the age of 21 and prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from possessing an assault weapon. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB434 by Representative Juandalynn Givan].

A bill was introduced in the House that would allow administrative personnel and teachers, with certain qualifications, to carry a pistol while on school property. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB435 by Representative Will Ainsworth].

A bill was introduced in the House that would prohibit the carrying or possession of a firearm on school premises regardless of whether the person has intent to do bodily harm. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB442 by Representative Allen Farley].

A bill was introduced in the House that would create the Alabama Task Force on School Safety and Security and would authorize the task force to annually study the current educational and safety laws, rules, and policies of the state in order to assist the Legislature in making effective changes to protect and benefit the citizens of the state. The bill is pending in the Education Policy Committee [HB447 by Representative Terri Collins].

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A bill was introduced in the House that would authorize the formation of trained volunteer school emergency security forces at public K-12 schools in the state consisting of current and retired school employees and local citizens. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB449 by Representative Allen Farley].

A bill was introduced in the House that would allow a juvenile probation officer to share certain information and records relating to a child, excluding mental health and medical records, with school personnel for the limited purpose of promoting safety and enhancing education and rehabilitation services provided to the child. The bill is pending in the House Education Policy Committee [HB452 by Representative Allen Farley].

Significant Committee Action This Week:

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee held a public hearing, substituted, and gave a favorable report to a bill that would allow an out-of-state vendor participating in the Simplified Sellers Use Tax Remittance Program to continue to participate in the Program if a physical presence in the state is established through the acquisition of an in-state company, provide that the transaction is subject to sales tax if completed at a retail establishment, to provide that the eligible seller also includes sales through a marketplace facilitator, and authorize an additional 1% to be collected and distributed to municipalities according to population. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB307 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would provide oversight of currently license exempt faith-based child care facilities. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB76 by Representative Pebblin Warren].

The House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee held a public hearing, and assigned the bill to a subcommittee, that would increase the membership of the State Pilotage Commission from 3 to 4 [SB222 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Governmental Affairs committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prohibit any state or public funds from being paid to settle any claim alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct by a state officer or employee. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB296 by Senator Bill Hightower].

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The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prohibit elected state officials from placing his or her likeness on materials, publications and advertising media produced using appropriated federal, state or local funds unless prohibited by federal law. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB285 by Senator Greg Albritton].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would permit, but not mandate, the use of the national motto “In God We Trust” by government agencies and offices, in and on public buildings, including government office buildings, public school classrooms, and on vehicles. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB228 by Representative David Standridge].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee substituted and gave a favorable report to a bill that would require certain entities to provide notice to certain persons upon a breach of security that results in the unauthorized acquisition of sensitive personally identifying information. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB318 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee held a public hearing, amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would require certain entities to provide notice to certain persons upon a breach of security that results in the unauthorized acquisition of sensitive personally identifying information. The bill now goes to the full House [HB410 by Representative Phil Williams].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee held a public hearing, and then assigned a subcommittee to further investigate, a bill that would prohibit the use of automated traffic enforcement systems and repeal all local laws authorizing the use of automated traffic enforcement for red light or speeding violations [HB365 by Representative Ken Johnson].

Both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees met on bills that would decrease the penalty for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a violation punishable by a fine. The Senate bill was given a favorable report and moves on to the full Senate, but the House bill was defeated in Committee [SB251 by Senator Dick Brewbaker and HB272 by Representative Patricia Todd].

The House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee gave a favorable report to a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would increase the age limit for someone to be elected or appointed to a judicial office from 70 to 75. The bill now goes to the full House [HB339 by Representative Matt Fridy].

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The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would increase the criminal penalty for texting while driving. The bill now goes to the full House [HB391 by Representative Tommy Hanes].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would prohibit a sheriff from placing conditions or requirements on the issuance of a pistol permit unless expressly provided by law. The bill now goes to the full House [SB113 by Senator Paul Sanford].

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prohibit the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board from increasing the mark-up on the sale of alcoholic beverages except by a law enacted by the Legislature. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB120 by Senator Bill Holtzclaw].

The Senate Judiciary Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would revise the state Ethics Law regarding minor violations and revise the manner in which a criminal investigation may be initiated by the State Ethics Commission. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB267 by Senator Cam Ward].

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee held a public hearing and gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide for the issuance of a nonprofit special events retail license for the sale of beer, wine and liquor, and would authorize the donation of beer, wine and liquor by non-licensed persons. The bill now goes to the full House [HB141 by Representative Craig Ford].

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee held a public hearing and gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption in specified community development districts in certain circumstances. The bill now goes to the full House [SB146 by Senator Steve Livingston].

The House Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would criminalize the act of recording or attempting to record an image or video of the private, intimate body parts of another person without his or her consent. The bill now goes to the full House [SB57 by Senator Clyde Chambliss].

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The House State Government Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would require a county jail or state penitentiary to provide feminine hygiene products to female prisoners. The bill now goes to the full House [HB363 by Representative Tim Wadsworth].

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would prohibit the intentional creation or operation of event ticketing websites with domain names that, without authorization, contain the name of a venue, performing artist, performance title, exhibition title, or similar descriptors. The bill now goes to the full House [SB197 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee held a public hearing, amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would require certain entities to provide notice to certain persons upon a breach of security that results in the unauthorized acquisition of sensitive personally identifying information. The bill now goes to the full House [HB410 by Representative Phil Williams].

The Senate Local Legislation Mobile County Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would authorize the governing body of any municipality within Mobile County, or the County Commission in any unincorporated areas of the county, to establish on premises sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on Sunday commencing at 10:00 a.m. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB267 by Representative James Buskey].

Significant Floor Action This Week:

The Senate amended and passed the $1.75 billion General Fund Budget which includes an additional $53.8 million for Medicaid, an additional $55 million for Corrections, and funds for a 3% cost of living increase for non-education state employees. The bill now goes to the House [SB178 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The House passed a bill that would authorize a county to use warrant funds on public facilities owned by a municipality located within the county. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB148 by Representative Randy Davis].

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The House passed a bill that would provide that a business license is not required for a person traveling through a municipality on business if the person is not operating a branch office or doing business in the municipality. The bill is now pending in the Senate County and Municipal Government Committee [HB107 by Representative Paul Lee].

The House passed a bill that would create an exception that would allow the surviving spouse of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescue squad member, or certain volunteer firefighters, killed in the line of duty to continue to receive benefits after remarriage. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB192 by Representative Matt Fridy].

The House passed a Senate Sunset bill that would extend the State Pilotage Commission until October 1, 2020. An amendment was adopted which removed a Senate amendment to increase the commission from 3 members to 4. The bill now awaits Senate action on the House amendment [SB74 by Senator Paul Bussman].

The Senate amended and passed a House bill that would provide that the state salary of an official court reporter would conform to the pay scale established by the State of Alabama Personnel Department Pay Plan for state employees, would establish the specific pay grade and step rate, and would make him or her subject to any cost-of-living and merit raises given to state employees. The bill now returns to the House for action on the Senate amendments [HB106 by Representative Paul Lee].

The House debated for several hours, than carried over, a bill that would require operators of vehicles to use lighted headlamps from sunset to sunrise instead of from a half hour after sunset to a half our before sunrise [HB333 by Representative Ritchie Whorton].

The Senate passed a House bill that would abolish boards, commissions, committees, task forces and authorities that are inactive or inoperable. The bill now goes to the Governor [HB22 by Representative Chris Pringle].

The Senate passed a bill that would allow capital defendants to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection is unavailable or the defendant so chooses. The bill is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee [SB272 by Senator Trip Pittman].

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The House passed a bill that would allow the taking of whitetail deer or feral swine by means of bait with a baiting privilege license from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB21 by Representative Jack (JW) Williams].

The House passed a Senate bill that would exempt the gross proceeds from the sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion from the state sales and use tax for five years. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB156 by Senator Tim Melson].

The House passed a bill that would require the Department of Revenue to develop and make available a single point of filing and payment system for county and municipal motor fuel taxes, and require the standardization of county and municipal motor fuel taxes. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB298 by Representative Paul Lee].

The House passed a Senate bill that would require day care centers to provide parents with information about influenza disease and the influenza vaccine. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB45 by Senator Billy Beasley].

Budgets

  • The Education Trust Fund Budget, HB175 by Rep. Poole, has passed the House and is pending in the Senate Finance & Taxation Education Committee.
  • The General Fund Budget, SB178 by Sen. Pittman, has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee.

Summary

  • Bills Introduced: 795
  • Bills that have passed house of origin: 262
  • Bills that have passed both houses: 69
  • Bills that are pending the Governor’s signature: 35
  • Bills that have been vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional amendment bills pending referendum: 7
  • Bills enacted: 27
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