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Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week four

This coming week the House will take up the General Fund Budget and the Senate is expected to debate the casino/lottery bill.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 10 of the 30-day Regular Session on Tuesday, March 2. The Legislature met in session all three days with 27 committee meetings held throughout the week. Some 814 bills have been introduced to date: 507 in the House and 307 in the Senate.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, March 9, for day 13 of the session with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2 p.m.

This coming week the House will take up the General Fund Budget and the Senate is expected to debate the casino/lottery bill.

During the week

Gov. Kay Ivey extended the “Safer At Home Order” that includes a statewide mask requirement until Friday, April 9, 2021.

State Rep. Kirk Hatcher of Montgomery won the special election for Senate District 26 replacing former Sen. David Burkett who resigned. Now-Sen. Hatcher will move to the upper chamber, and the governor will schedule a special election to fill his vacated House seat.

The governor signed the House Joint Resolution by state Rep. Adline Clarke honoring Mr. James K. Lyons for his contributions to the state of Alabama as director and chief executive officer of the Alabama State Port Authority (Act No. 2021-22).

The Senate confirmed several of the governor’s boards and commissions appointments this week, including Ann Sirmon to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, John Tyson to the State Courses of Study Committee and nine members to the State Textbook Committee.

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Significant floor passage this week in the House

HB136 by Rep. C. Brown to designate the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab as the official Aquarium of Alabama.

HB292 by Rep. Standridge to authorize an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces and an honorably discharged veteran to be issued a pistol permit without the payment of a fee.

HB392 by Rep. M. Jones To create the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee On Obligation Transparency to provide oversight and review of certain agreements of state agencies and departments that require the expenditure of funds from the State General Fund. 

HB448 by Rep. Clarke To provide for the incorporation of an Africatown Redevelopment Corporation for the purpose of revitalization of housing, preservation of history, and attraction and development of commerce in the Africatown Historic District. 

SB80 by Sen. Butler To require a county or municipality within two miles of any portion of a military installation to give an affected military installation notice and an opportunity for review of any proposed tall structure or wind energy facility for potential impacts prior to approving the tall structure or wind energy facility. 

SB103 by Sen. Barfoot To provide for the formation of charter schools on or near military installations with a focus on serving military dependents. 

SB104 by Sen. Barfoot To provide for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to issue lifetime hunting and fishing licenses at reduced rates to qualified disabled U.S. military veterans. 

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Significant floor passage this week in the Senate

SB8 by Sen. Elliott To provide that a homeowner’s association or condominium association may not prohibit the displaying of the flag of the State of Alabama on residential property within the association. 

SB10 by Sen. Shelnutt To prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the appearance of the minor child’s gender or delay puberty. 

SB45 by Sen. Beasley To authorize the Secretary of State to conduct a one-time post-election pilot audit after the November 8, 2022 general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported outcome of the election. 

SB111 by Sen. Butler To allow the sale of land for taxes to occur on the premises of or within the courthouse or courthouse annex of the county. 

SB117 by Sen. Coleman To provide that a person who has been charged with, but not convicted of, any felony offense may file a petition to have the criminal records expunged under certain conditions. 

SB119 by Sen. Waggoner To revise the municipal election dates in certain municipalities beginning in 2025. 

SB158 by Sen. Smitherman To create a Law Enforcement Officer Employment Database, and require law enforcement agencies to report certain complaints, disciplinary actions, and background information.

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SB215 by Sen. Marsh To create the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority, modeled off the State Port Authority in structure, to plan and oversee the expansion and availability of high-speed broadband services throughout the state. 

Significant committee action this week in the House

HB232 by Rep. Simpson To require all courts in the state to take judicial notice of all municipal ordinances of a Class 2 municipality (House Judiciary Committee).

HB309 by Rep. Clouse General Fund Budget (Substituted in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).

HB320 by Rep. Lawrence To provide a cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021 (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).

HB406 by Rep. Whitt To require car sharing programs to enter into a concession agreement with an airport authority before enabling car sharing and to authorize airport authorities to adopt rules and impose fees (Public Hearing, but no vote, in House County and Municipal Government Committee).

HB477 by Rep. Robertson To establish the Alabama Uniform Concealed Carry Permit Act, to standardize the process by which concealed carry permits may be issued, and to create a state firearms prohibited person database (Amended in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).

SB31 by Sen. Roberts To provide that the date for runoff elections to be four weeks after the regular election for all runoff municipal elections and runoff special primary elections (House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee).

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SB40 by Sen. Givhan To exempt the Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation, The Alabama High School of Mathematics and Science Foundation, and the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering Foundation, from any state, county, and municipal sales and use taxes (Amended in House Ways and Means Education Committee).

SB65 by Sen. Sessions To provide an alternative procedure for the dissolution of a public park and recreation beach board under certain conditions and for the transfer of the property of the board to the municipality where the public park is located upon approval of both the county and the municipality (House County and Municipal Government Committee).

SB107 by Sen. Elliott To limit the police jurisdiction of a municipality to territory in the police jurisdiction of the municipality on the effective date of this act and to provide for the reduction or elimination of a police jurisdiction (Substituted and amended in House County and Municipal Government Committee).

Significant committee action this week in the Senate

SB144 by Sen. Singleton To extend the immunity from criminal and civil liability for the donation of perishable food to include meat from game animals (Amended in Senate Healthcare Committee). 

SB149 by Sen. Singleton To amend the crime of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree to provide that if a person possesses less than two ounces of marijuana the criminal penalty would be a fine only (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB180 by Sen. Whatley To authorize the court the option to order a defendant to install an ignition interlock device or any other alcohol monitoring device approved by the court (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB235 by Sen. Roberts To prohibit “curbside voting,” operation of any voting machine except on the inside of an enclosed building designated as a voting place (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

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SB204 by Sen. Williams To provide further for qualifications of members appointed to the Alabama Professional Bail Bonding Board, to authorize the issuing of apprentice licenses, and require the successful completion of certain education before regular licensure (Amended in Senate Banking and Insurance Committee). 

SB240 by Sen. McClendon To abolish the State Board of Health, including the position of State Health Officer, and the State Committee of Public Health under their current structure and establish the Alabama Department of Public Health and create the Governor appointed position of Secretary of the Alabama Department of Public Health (Amended in Senate Healthcare Committee).

SB244 by Sen. Jones To make it illegal to possess, sell, transfer, or breed a large wild cat, great ape, wolf, or non-native bear (Substituted in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB259 by Sen. Barfoot A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the Legislature to call itself into a special session (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

SB264 by Sen. Chesteen To provide that existing law prohibiting the capturing or killing of animals during nighttime hours would not apply to feral swine or coyotes hunted on privately owned or leased lands (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB267 by Sen. Orr To repeal the law authorizing municipalities to adopt ordinances to compel vaccinations; to provide exemptions from the mandatory immunization for individuals who oppose immunization based on religious beliefs or otherwise sincerely held personal beliefs, and others (Senate Healthcare Committee). 

SB275 by Sen. Givhan To authorize the use of remote notarization for acknowledgments (Senate Judiciary Committee).

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Significant introductions this week in the House

HB490 by Rep. Grimsley To eliminate the provision that an individual who has been previously convicted of the crime of possession of marijuana in the second degree will be charged with possession in the first degree, and permit an individual who has been convicted of the crime of possession of marijuana in in the first degree as a result of a prior conviction to have the felony offense reduced to a misdemeanor.

HB505 by Rep. Pettus To require the Department of Transportation to install appropriate signs giving notice of this prohibition at various locations on the interstate highway system.

Significant introductions this week in the Senate

SB281 by Sen. Shelnutt To require the proceeds from motor fuel taxes levied by municipalities and counties be used only for road and bridge construction and maintenance with certain exceptions.

SB288 by Sen. Shelnutt To specify that the definition of gross receipts in regard to municipal business licenses does not include any excise tax imposed by federal, state, and local governments.

SB29 by Sen. Albritton A proposed Constitutional Amendment to prohibit the Governor and executive agencies of the state from entering into certain public contracts without approval of the Legislature.

Significant bills enacted

HB170 Rep. Garrett To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, Small Business Administration subsidy payments, Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, student loan payments, or qualified disaster relief payments, and adjust certain business taxes; exempts $8.7 million in stimulus payments. 2021-1

HB192 Rep. Poole To reestablish and expand the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Credit for attracting new and expanding businesses. 2021-2

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HB231 Rep. Clouse To make a supplemental appropriation of available federal funds from the Alabama Emergency Rental Assistance fund to the Department of Finance of an estimated $263,236,067 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021. 2021-3

SB30 Sen. Orr To provide civil immunity for business entities, health care providers, educational entities, churches, governmental entities, and cultural institutions operating in this state, as well as individuals associated with these entities, from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus during a declared state of emergency. 2021-4

SB76 Sen. Orr To establish a procedure to authorize wireless providers to collocate, mount, or install small wireless facilities on existing poles, or install new poles on the right-of-way of the state or any agency, county, or municipality. 2021-5

HJR6 Rep. Clarke To honor Mr. James K. Lyons for his contributions to the State of Alabama as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority. 2021-22

HJR5 Rep. Lee To extend the existing sales and use tax exemption on parts, components, and systems used in the refurbishing of aircraft. 2021-28

Budgets

HB297 Rep. Poole Education Budget Pending in House Ways and Means Education Committee

HB309 Rep. Clouse General Fund Budget Favorable, as substituted, from House Ways and Means General Fund Committee

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SB189 Sen. Orr Education Budget Pending in Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

Summary

  • Bills introduced: 814
  • Bills which have passed house of origin: 188
  • Bills which have passed both houses: 45
  • Bills which are pending governor’s signature: 39
  • Bills vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional amendments bills pending referendum: 0

Six bills have been enacted so far.

Beth Lyons
Written By

DIG DEEPER

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Sen. Jim McClendon asked that his bill be carried over after a long day of deliberation.

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Rep. Chris England's bill would repeal the law and allow incarcerated people serving under it a chance to have sentences revisited.

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Aniah's law would allow district attorneys to request that bail be denied for persons charged with serious felonies.

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The committee gave the medical marijuana bill a favorable report after a lengthy debate.