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Weekly 2019 Regular Session legislative report

Beth Lyons

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The Alabama Legislature met for Day 10 of its annual Regular Session on Tuesday, April 16. Thirty-one committee meetings were held throughout the week to consider legislation. Both Houses met on Thursday, April 18 for Day 11.

To date, 803 bills have been introduced.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 23 for Day 12 of the Session with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 3 p.m.

DURING THE WEEK:

More than 30 Sheriffs from around the state attended the public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose a bill that would allow the carrying of a firearm without a concealed pistol permit. Representatives from Bama Carry and the National Rifle Association spoke in favor of the legislation. The committee will vote on the bill next week [SB4 by Sen. Gerald Allen].

A public hearing was held in the House Health Committee on a bill that would make performing of an abortion, unless the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, a felony. Fourteen people spoke either for or against the bill. The bill’s proponents predict the legislation will be declared unconstitutional in the lower courts but hope to spur a national debate and ultimate Supreme Court decision overruling the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade. The ACLU tweeted during the hearing that previous legislation requiring abortion physicians to have local hospital admitting privileges was struck down as unconstitutional in 2017, and the State was ordered to pay the plaintiff ACLU $1.7 million. The bill was given a favorable report [HB314 by Rep. Terri Collins].

Legislation to prohibit cities and counties from regulating or restricting plastic, paper, styrofoam and other litter was on the House Special Order Calendar for Thursday, but the House adjourned before it could be considered [HB346 by Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter].

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SIGNIFICANT INTRODUCTIONS THIS WEEK:

A bill was introduced in the House that would require the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to designate the words “registered voter” on driver’s licenses and nondriver’s identification cards. The bill is pending in the House State Government Committee [HB440 by Rep. Thad McClammy].

A bill was introduced in the House that would authorize local boards of education to offer yoga to students in grades K through 12. The bill is pending in the House Education Policy Committee [HB449 by Rep. Jeremy Gray].

A bill was introduced in the House that would authorize a municipality to increase the minimum wage set by the federal government. The bill is pending in the House State Government Committee [HB482 by
Rep. Napoleon Bracy].

A bill was introduced in the Senate that would provide for the operation of shared micro-mobility device systems and would require the consent of a county or municipality prior to the use of the system in the county or municipality. The bill is pending in the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee [SB312 by Sen. Rodger Smitherman].

SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK:

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would expand online sales transactions which could be taxed through the Simplified Sellers Use Tax and provide for a calculation of the combined average state and local sellers use tax rate by using the state, county and municipal sellers use tax rates. The bill now goes to the full House [HB418 by Rep. Rod Scott].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would update the amnesty and class action provisions of the Simplified Sellers Use Tax and clarify transactions for which the tax cannot be collected and remitted. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB153 by Sen. Tim Melson].

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide for a $10 million allocation of motor fuel excise taxes to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to facilitate growth of inland ports and transfer facilities, and for the coordination of a transportation system for inland waterways. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB268 by Sen. Arthur Orr].

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee substituted and gave a favorable report to a bill that would create the Women’s Tribute Statue Commission to fund, commission and place monuments for Rosa Parks andHelen Keller on the Capitol grounds. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB265 by Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison].

The House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would authorize courts to issue ex-parte gun violence protection orders if the court finds that the respondent poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to self or others [HB265 by Rep. Merika Coleman].

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would establish the Alabama Court Cost Commission who would review existing laws imposing court costs and make recommendations to the Legislature as to whether existing laws should be amended, repealed or left unchanged and to review and approve any proposed legislation before introduction to the Legislature [HB377 by Rep. Matt Simpson].

The House State Government Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide for the registration of certain fantasy sports operators, require the implementation of procedures for consumer protection and exempt fantasy sports contests from the state prohibition against gambling. The bill now goes to the full House [HB361 by Rep. Kyle South].

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee held a public hearing, but did not vote, on a bill that would allow a licensed wine manufacturer to obtain a wine direct shipper permit to ship directly to residents for personal use [HB350 by Rep. Terri Collins].

The House Agriculture and Forestry Committee gave a favorable report to a Senate bill that would authorize the taking of whitetail dear or feral swine by means of bait when a person purchases a baiting privilege license from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The bill now goes to the full House [SB66 by Sen. Jack Williams].

The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee amended and gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide the procedure for depositing of material from the dredging of the inlets of the state. The bill now goes to the full Senate [SB215 by Sen. David Sessions].

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would provide that the surviving spouse and dependents of a law enforcement officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty on or after Jan. 1, 2018, will continue to receive worker’s compensation benefits. The bill now goes to the full House [HB187 by Rep. Matt Fridy].

SIGNIFICANT FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK:

The Senate passed a House bill that would provide circumstances under which an individual acting as an economic development professional is not considered a lobbyist. The bill now goes to the governor [HB289 by Rep. Alan Baker].

The Senate substituted, amended and passed a bill that would provide that the police jurisdiction of a municipality would not be extended beyond its current limits after the effective date of this act. The bill now goes to the House [SB23 by Sen. Chris Elliott].

The Senate passed a bill that would allow the state and its political subdivisions to utilize waiver valuations, in lieu of an appraisal, to determine the value of real property for the right-of-way acquisitions. The bill now goes to the House [SB139 by Sen. Billy Beasley].

The House amended and passed a bill that would require county sheriffs and the Department of Corrections to provide feminine hygiene products for female prisoners under certain conditions. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB308 by Rep. Rolanda Hollis].

The House and Senate each passed a bill that would require that the pledge of alliance to the US flag be conducted at the beginning of each school day in public K-12 schools. The bills now go to the second House [HB339 by Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter and SB258 by Sen. Steve Livingston].

The Senate substituted and passed a House bill that would provide specific provisions concerning the payment and collection of state and local taxes on the leasing and rental of tangible personal property. The bill now returns to the House for action on the Senate substitute [HB155 by Rep. Steve Clouse].

The Senate amended and passed a bill that would require a county or municipality to include a schedule of all of the debt obligations of the county or municipality with the bond financing agreement documents. The bill now goes to the House [SB202 by Sen. Arthur Orr].

The House substituted, amended and passed a bill that would establish a new procedure for collecting funds other than child support and other exempt income and property paid to a person convicted of a specified crime and authorize a crime victim to apply for civil compensation and other remedies relating to the crime.

The bill now goes to the Senate [HB180 by Rep. Proncey Robertson].

The House amended and passed a bill that would establish the Alabama Board of Genetic Counseling, provide that the practice of genetic counseling without a license is a criminal offense, exempt physicians and other medical professionals from licensure and provide that genetic counselors are not authorized to practice medicine. The bill now goes to the Senate [HB313 by Rep. Danny Garrett].

 

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