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Weekly legislative report

A view of the Alabama Statehouse on South Union Street in Montgomery, Alabama. (STOCK PHOTO)

The Alabama Legislature reconvened on Monday, May 18, 2020 for the 21st and final day of the 2020 Regular Session. Under Alabama law, the Regular Session may last no longer than 105 calendar days which expired on May 18.

Since the adjournment of the Legislature on Saturday, May 9 for a 10 day break to await executive action, Governor Ivey signed both the General Fund Budget (SB157 by Senator Greg Albritton – Act No. 2020-168) and the Education Budget (HB187 by Representative Steve Clouse – Act No. 2020-169) as passed by the legislature. However, she returned SB161 by Senator Albritton which provided the authority for the expenditures of $1.8 billion CARES Act funds relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s Executive Amendment to the bill set out the categories for appropriations under the CARES Act including up to $300 million to state agencies for expenses directly related to the pandemic, up to $250 million to reimburse local governments, up to $300 million to support citizens, businesses, and non-profit organizations directly impacted, up to $250 million to support the delivery of healthcare services, up to $300 million for technology and infrastructure related to remote instruction and learning, and up to $200 million to the Department of Corrections. Both Houses concurred in the Executive Amendment, passed the few remaining local bills, adopted a few resolutions, and adjourned Sine Die.

As you know from following the news and prior Legislative Reports, this unusual Regular Session resulted in very few bills receiving final passage. At the beginning of the Session, it was expected that the issues of prison reform, lottery, and medical cannabis would receive major consideration and, possible passage. The Governor has indicated that she will call a Special Session later in the year.

Of the 856 bills introduced, over 700 did not receive consideration; many of these we will see again in a Special Session or the 2021 Regular Session.

Among the significant bills passed, other than budget bills, resolutions, Sunset, and local bills during the Session are:

HB147 by Rep. Sells
HB140 by Rep. Baker

To prohibit a municipality that does not already have an occupational tax from imposing an occupational tax unless authorized by local law.

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To clarity existing law and the definition of “cover” as it relates to alternative cover for solid waste landfills.

Act 2020-14
Act 2020-30
HB186 by Rep. Clouse
HB272 by Rep. Weaver
SB12 by Sen. Smitherman

HB66 by Rep. McClammy
HB202 by Rep. Poole
SB111 by Sen. Orr
SB140 by Sen. Singleton SB183 by Senator Sessions

Various supplemental appropriations including an appropriation of $5 million to the Department of Public Health to be used for Coronavirus preparedness and response activities.

To revise deadlines for candidates to qualify for the November 3, 2020 general election to accommodate the dates of the 2020 Republican National Convention.

To expand the Missing Senior Citizen Alert Act to include missing and endangered persons suffering from a mental or physical disability who are at risk of bodily harm or death.

To authorize a municipality or county to establish a local redevelopment authority for property that is contiguous to an active US Air Force military installation

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To substantially revise the Business and Nonprofit Entities Code to allow corporations to elect to become benefit corporations, allow for electronic filing, and update definitions.

To prohibit the manufacture, marketing, sale, distribution, use, and possession of synthetic urine or a urine additive to defraud an alcohol, drug, or urine screening test.

To provide for a Statewide Emergency Notification System.

To authorize a county to issue bonds to refund certain bonds previously issued by the county, and to ratify and confirm the validity of any refunding bonds originally issued prior to January 1, 2011.

Act 2020-36
Act 2020-39
Act 2020-40
Act 2020-72
Act 2020-73
Act 2020-84
Act 2020-85 Act 2020-121

Among the signification bills which did not pass but are expected to be introduced again are:

HB19 by Rep. Pringle To create the State Transportation Commission to coordinate and develop the activities of the Department of Transportation.

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HB57 by Rep. Hall Adopts the procedures established by the federal First Step Act for the use of restraints on pregnant prisoners as Alabama law.

HB81 by Rep. C. Brown

HB83 by Rep. Hill

HB110 by Rep. C. Brown HB112 by Rep. C. Brown HB113 by Rep. C. Brown HB119 by Rep. Drummond
HB258 by Rep. Crawford
HB323 by Rep. England HB336 by Rep. Rogers
HB378 by Rep. Ingram HB382 by Rep. Greer
HB391 by Rep. Reynolds HB403 by Rep. Poole

A proposed Constitutional Amendment to provide that a person charged with a Class A felony, when the proof is evident or the presumption is great, and if no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm, be denied bail before conviction.

Authorizes a county to pay a provider of medical services any rate or fee agreed upon, or, when there is no agreed upon rate, at the current Medicare rate or fee schedule.
Designates the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Alabama Aquarium as the official Aquarium of Alabama.

Redesignates common fireworks as consumer fireworks and provide for the regulation of consumer fireworks.
Provides for additional offenses that would require mandatory denial of bail.

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To raise the minimum age for the purchase, possession, or transport of tobacco products, or of electronic nicotine delivery systems or alternative nicotine products from 19 to 21.

Specifies that the definition of gross receipts, for the purposes of municipal business license taxes, does not include any excise tax imposed by the federal, state, and local governments.

Requires the Department of Corrections to make quarterly reports to the Joint Legislative Prison Oversight Committee.
Permits wagering on the results of certain professional or collegiate sports or athletic events, and to create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission.

Provides that for eminent domain purposes, park and recreation facilities do not include trails for biking and hiking.

Establishes a procedure for the establishment of tourism improvement districts by counties and municipalities, excluding Class 2 municipalities.

Exempts airport authorities from sales and use taxes, and provide for a certificate of exemption.

A proposed Constitutional Amendment that establishes the Alabama Court Cost Commission to review all existing laws providing for the imposition of a court cost, and review a potential new court cost, to determine if it is reasonably related to the court system and to the amount expended in adjudicating the matter in question.

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HB413 by Rep. Simpson HB418 by Rep. Clouse
HB464 by Rep. Mooney
HB508 by Rep. Mooney SB3 by Senator Elliott
SB48 by Senator Elliott
SB57 by Senator Ward
SB83 by Senator Jones
SB84 by Senator Jones
SB85 by Senator Jones
SB124 by Senator Marsh
SB127 by Senator Allen

To require courts in the state to take judicial notice of municipal ordinances of a Class 2 municipality.

A proposed Constitutional Amendment that establishes an Alabama Lottery, including instant tickets and multi-state lottery games, with the proceeds to be used for early childhood education and scholarships.
Provides for an exclusion from Alabama tax for federal tax credits, or advance refunds received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Prohibits any public employee from participating in a strike during a state of emergency.

Provides for the expenditure of funds received by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, pursuant to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, for coastal conservation, restoration, and protection.
Authorizes the governing body of a Class 8 municipality with an incorporated arts council, main street program, or downtown development entity that is located primarily on an island to establish three entertainment districts within its corporate limits.

Requires governmental bodies to adopt rules allowing each citizen to inspect and take a copy of any public record upon request made in accordance with this act.

A proposed Constitutional Amendment that abolishes the Office of State Auditor and transfer duties and responsibilities to the Office of the State Treasurer.

Provides that any increase in water rates by a nonprofit corporation which provides water service to the public would be subject to approval by the Public Service Commission and require the nonprofit corporation to be audited by the Examiner of Public Accounts.
Provides that if an AdvantageSite economic development site is annexed by a municipality or is located in the police jurisdiction of a municipality, an employee employed on the site would not be subject to any occupational license tax.

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Provides that any Class 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 municipality that does not create and adopt a municipal plan or is not executing its plan in good faith is ineligible to receive grants from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Expands the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 and the jurisdiction of the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection, as well as increasing fines from a total of $25,000 to $5,000 per day.

SB142 by Senator Elliott
SB147 by Senator Melson SB151 by Senator Elliott
SB152 by Senator Elliott
SB165 by Senator Melson
SB172 by Senator Orr
SB237 by Senator Ward
SB239 by Senator Smitherman
SB275 by Senator Allen
SB277 by Senator Figures SB282 by Senator Albritton
SB288 by Senator Ward

Eliminates municipal authority beyond the corporate limits of each municipality and provide for a referendum to decide whether to reinstate police jurisdictions.

Re-designates common fireworks as consumer fireworks and provides for the regulation of consumer fireworks.
Requires the Department of Transportation to complete and publically post an economic impact study related to the toll project prior to construction and prior to the public hearing.

A proposed Constitutional Amendment that requires a referendum before a proposed toll may be fixed, charged, or collected, for the construction, renovation, or use of a public road, bridge or tunnel project on an existing interstate highway or a section thereof.
Authorizes and regulates the use of medical cannabis for certain medical conditions, and to authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, testing, transporting and dispensing of medical cannabis.

Expands the right of some wireless providers to install their facilities on public rights-of-way, exempt these providers from certain zoning reviews and approval procedures, establish maximum rates and fees for permits, and exempts certain governmental entities which have ordinances or agreements regarding the industry.
Provides an inmate with a deduction in his/her sentence upon the successful completion of a qualifying academic, vocational, risk- reducing, or apprenticeship program.

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Requires the Alabama Supreme Court to adopt a Judicial Actual Caseload Study as the appropriate study for determining the need for judgeships in each district and circuit court.

Specifies that the definition of gross receipts, for the purposes of municipal business license taxes, does not include any excise tax imposed by the federal, state, and local governments.

To specify that Robert E. Lee Day would be observed on the second Monday in October.
A proposed Constitutional Amendment that establishes an Alabama Education Lottery, establishes an Alabama Gaming Commission to supervise the conduct of bingo, charitable bingo, pari-mutual wagering and casino-style games, and enters into a compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to operate 2 casinos in the state.

Requires the Department of Corrections to make quarterly reports to the Joint Legislative Prison Oversight Committee.

SB295 by Senator Givhan SB310 by Sen. Figures
SB330 by Senator Orr
SB333 by Senator Ward
SB334 by Senator Whatley
SB342 by Senator Elliott
SB345 by Senator Sanders-Fortier

Exempts airport authorities from sales and use taxes, and provides for a certificate of exemption.

To provide that the Director of the Alabama State Port Authority may appoint up to 11 executive level employees, to allow the Port Authority to enter into employment contracts with former employees for the transitional period following retirement, and provide that the commercial terms of certain contract entered into by the Port Authority are exempt from certain state laws limiting confidentiality.

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Provides civil immunity for certain entities and individuals from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus.
A proposed Constitutional Amendment that allows the Legislature to distribute any motor fuel excise taxes levied under the “Rebuild Alabama Act” to the Department of Commerce for a small business stimulus fund.

Provides that a state of emergency terminates after 14 days and may be extended only by a joint resolution of the Legislature, or, if the Legislature is not in session, by joint proclamation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

Provides for an exclusion from Alabama tax for federal tax credits, advance refunds, or loan forgiveness received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Requires the Department of Corrections to determine inmates that are at high risk for severe complications from COVID-19 and release certain inmates from physical custody to community supervision or home detention.

Bills Introduced
Bills which have passed house of origin
Bills which have passed both houses
Bills which are pending action by Governor
Bills which have been vetoed
Constitutional Amendment Bills pending referendum Bills enacted.


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