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Week Nine Legislative Report

Beth Lyons

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The Alabama Legislature convened for day 19 of the annual Regular Session on Tuesday, March 13 with twenty-seven committee meetings held throughout the week to consider legislation. Both Houses then convened on Thursday, March 15 for Day 20.

There have been 915 bills introduced to date.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, March 20 for day 21 of the Session with the House and Senate convening 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 prohibit the possession, sale, or transfer of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee [SB383 by Senator Hank Sanders].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would prohibit the carrying and possession of a firearm on the premises of a public school regardless of whether the person has intent to do bodily harm and would provide criminal penalties. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee [SB394 by Senator Harri Anne Smith].

A bill was introduced in the House that would prohibit the sale or transfer of an assault weapon to any person under 21 years of age. The bill is pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [HB513 by Representative Ralph Howard].

A bill was introduced in both Houses that would allow public schools to offer elective courses focusing on the study of the Bible in grades 6 through 12, and allow the display of artifacts, monuments, symbols and texts related to the study of the Bible. The bills are pending in the Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee and the House Education Policy Committee [SB391 by Senator Tim Melson and HB511 by Representative Reed Ingram].

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A bill was introduced in the House that would allow the State of Alabama to observe Daylight Savings Time year-round upon an act by Congress to amend the existing prohibition in federal law. The bill is pending in the House State Government Committee [HB508 by Representative Craig Ford].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would further provide for permits for shoreline restoration, including the use of living shoreline techniques, by riparian property owners in coastal areas. The bill is pending in the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee [SB395 by Senator Greg Albritton].

A bill was introduced in the House that would provide reporting requirements, publication requirements, and certain requirements regarding the accounting of funds derived from civil forfeiture. The bill is pending in the House Judiciary Committee [HB518 by Representative Arnold Mooney].

SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK:

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would revise notification and confidentiality provisions governing certain economic incentives provided for by law and would clarity what incentives are subject to the notification requirements [HB317 by Representative Ken Johnson].

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee amended and passed a bill that would allow an out-of-state vendor participating in the Simplified Sales and Use Tax Remittance Program (SSUT) 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, and provide that the eligible seller also includes sales through a marketplace facilitator. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB470 by Representative Rod Scott].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee held a public hearing and substituted a bill that would authorize certain persons employed by a state or local board of education to carry a firearm on school premises. The bill now goes to the full House [HB435 by Representative Will Ainsworth].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee held a public hearing and carried over a bill 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 [HB449 by Representative Allen Farley].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would provide that a person is not criminally liable for using physical or deadly force in self-defense or in the defense of another on the premises of a church. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB34 by Representative Lynn Greer].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a House bill that would authorize the State Fire Marshal to regulate and issue pyrotechnic display operator licenses and pyrotechnic special effects operator licenses to persons who provide fireworks displays, pyrotechnics, and related special effects to an audience. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB376 by Representative Barbara Drummond].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would expand the list of non-curable lease breaches, shorten the notice period of noncompliance with a lease from seven days to three days, and provide that a tenant is entitled to only two curable breaches, instead of four, within any 12 month period. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB421 by Representative David Sessions].

The House Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate 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 Office of the Attorney General. The bill now goes to the full House [SB84 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would re-authorize certain sales and property tax abatements for data processing centers for an additional five year period. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB379 by Senator Jabo Waggoner].

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would further provide for persons charged with driving under the influence and the installation of ignition interlock devices. The bill now goes to the full House [SB301 by Senator Paul Bussman].

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee substituted and gave a favorable report to a bill that would require the Department of Public Health to establish a form for an Order for Pediatric Palliative and End of Life Care to be used by medical professionals outlining medical care provided to a minor with a terminal illness. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB194 by Representative April Weaver].

The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee held a public hearing and gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would add a manufacturers license to the types of alcohol beverage licenses for an establishment that conducts tastings or samplings in an entertainment district. The bill now goes to the full House [SB339 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would create the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do Not Sell List and allow a person to restrict his or her firearm purchasing authority by voluntarily adding his or her name to the List. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB376 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would prohibit the possession or sale of sky lanterns. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB325 by Representative Ron Johnson].

The House Judiciary Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a Senate 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 House [SB37 by Senator Cam Ward].

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would add certain enumerated public officials and boards to the list of entities supported by the Alabama Workforce Council, and revise the membership of the Council. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB170 by Representative Alan Baker].

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave a favorable report to a House bill that would provide for the issuance of a non-profit special events retail license and provide that a licensed manufacturer may donate its product to a licensed non-profit special event. The bill now goes to the full Senate [HB414 by Representative Craig Ford].

The House Fiscal Responsibility Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would require a county, municipality or local school board entering a bond financing agreement to include a schedule of all of their debt obligations for the time span of the maturity of the debt obligation. The bill now goes to the full House [HB500 by Representative Chris Sells].

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK:

The House substituted, 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 returns to the Senate for action on the House amendments [SB178 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The Senate substituted, amended and passed the $6.63 billion Education Trust Fund Budget which includes funds for a 2.5% increase for K-12 employees, 197 additional middle school teachers, a $18 million increase for Pre-K, a $16 million increase for community colleges, a $27 million increase for 4 year colleges, and a $450,000 increase for public libraries. The bill now returns to the House for action on the Senate amendments [HB175 by Representative Bill Poole].

The Senate passed a House bill that would give a cost-of-living increase of 2.5% to public education employees. The bill now goes to the Governor [HB174 by Representative Bill Poole].

The House passed a Senate bill that would make a $30 million supplemental appropriation for the Department of Corrections. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB175 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The House amended and passed a Senate bill that would authorize a 3% cost-of-living increase for state employees. The bill returned to the Senate for action on the House amendment which was approved. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB185 by Senator Clyde Chambliss].

The House substituted and passed a Senate bill that would allow certain retirees under the Employees’ Retirement System to receive a one-time lump-sum bonus to their retirement allowances. The bill returned to the Senate for action on the House substitute which was approved. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB215 by Senator Gerald Dial].

The Senate passed a House bill that would provide oversight of currently license exempt faith-based child care facilities. The bill now goes to the Governor [HB76 by Representative Pebblin Warren].

The House amended and passed a bill 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 now pending in the Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee [HB447 by Representative Terri Collins].

The Senate passed a bill that would allow funds in the Education Trust Fund Budget Stabilization Fund to be used for school security. The bill is now pending in the House Ways and Means Education Committee [SB323 by Senator Trip Pittman].

The House amended and passed a bill that would require law enforcement officers to complete sensitivity training, would require law enforcement agencies to recruit licensed social workers to be law enforcement officers, and require uniformed officers who carry firearms to also carry non-lethal weapons. The bill is now pending in the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee [SB335 by Senator Rodger Smitherman].

The Senate passed a bill that would designate the first day of December of each year as Mrs. Rosa L. Parks Day. The bill now goes to the House [SB365 by Senator Vivian Figures].

The House passed a Senate bill that would establish the Alabama Infrastructure Bank to provide for the appropriation and pledge of certain tax revenues, motor vehicle license taxes and registration fees, diesel fuel tax revenues, and motor carrier tax revenues. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB100 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The House passed a bill that would further provide auditing procedures for pharmacy records and would limit recoupment for certain errors by a pharmacy. The bill is now pending in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee [HB457 by Representative Elaine Beech].

The House and Senate passed companion bills that would create the Alabama Rural Hospital Resource Center with the University of Alabama at Birmingham to facilitate access to high quality care and improve the health of rural Alabamians by increasing the viability and capabilities of eligible hospitals at no or minimal cost to those hospitals [HB446 by Representative Randall Shedd and SB351 by Senator Greg Reed].

The Senate substituted and passed a House bill that would modify the Wallace-Folsom Savings Investment Plan to authorize a contribution to, and continued investment in, an ACES Program or ABLE Program savings account by the guardian or conservator of the designated beneficiary, and allow the distributions from the accounts be used toward expenses at any higher education institution. The bill now returns to the House for action on the Senate substitute [HB251 by Representative Ken Johnson].

The Senate passed a bill that would require a county, municipality or local school board entering a bond financing agreement to include a schedule of all of their debt obligations for the time span of the maturity of the debt obligation. The bill is now pending in the House County and Municipal Government Committee [SB364 by Senator Arthur Orr].

The Senate substituted and passed a bill that would increase the amount a licensed manufacturer of liquor may sell at retail for off-premises consumption from 750 milliliters per day to 4.5 liters per day. The bill now goes to the House [SB352 by Senator Jimmy Holley].

The House passed a bill that would re-authorize certain sales and property tax abatements for data processing centers for an additional five year period. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB494 by Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter].

The House amended and passed a bill that would substantially overhaul the Juvenile Justice System, and provide for community-based treatment centers for certain low-level offenders. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB225 by Representative Jim Hill].

The House passed a bill that would allow manufacturers and dealers of boats located within the State to make application to the Department of Revenue for the authority to issue temporary license plates and registration certificates for boat trailers when sold out of state. The bill now goes to the Governor [SB293 by Senator Bill Hightower].

The House amended and passed a bill that would exempt the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo from payment of state, county, and municipal sales and use taxes related to capital expenditures for four years. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB118 by Representative Steve McMillan].

The House amended and passed a bill that would make genital mutilation of a female under the age of 19 a Class D felony. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB284 by Representative Connie Rowe].

The Senate passed a resolution calling on Congress to permanently adopt what is now Daylight Saving Time as the new standard for time in the United States year round. The resolution now goes to the House [SJR101 by Senator Rusty Glover].

BUDGETS:

  • The Education Trust Fund Budget, HB175 by Rep. Poole, has been passed by both chambers and returned to the House for action on a Senate substitute.
  • The General Fund Budget, SB178 by Sen. Pittman, has been passed by both chambers and returned to the Senate for action on a House substitute.

SUMMARY:

  • Bills Introduced: 915
  • Bills that have passed house of origin: 415
  • Bills that have passed both houses: 175
  • Bills that are pending the governor’s signature: 71
  • Bills that have been vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional amendment bills pending referendum: 11
  • Bills enacted: 93

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