The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would prevent homeowners’ associations from banning the Alabama state flag.
Senate Bill 8 is sponsored by state Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Fairhope, who told the committee that he and some other people wanted to celebrate Alabama’s bicentennial but were told by their homeowners’ association that flying the Alabama flag was forbidden under the HOA’s rules.
Elliott said that his bill mirrors federal legislation. The committee voted to give the bill a favorable report with little discussion.
According to the bill:
“Under existing federal law, a condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent any member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association. This bill would provide that a homeowner’s association or condominium association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent any member of the association from displaying the flag of the State of Alabama on residential property within the association.
“Nothing in this act shall be considered to prevent any reasonable restriction on the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the State of Alabama necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, homeowner’s association, or unit owners’ association.”
The vote to give a favorable report was 10 in favor to zero members opposed. State Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Elba, chairs the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. Elliott is the vice-chair. SB8 can now be considered by the full Senate. Thursday was day three of the 2021 Alabama Legislative Session.