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Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week five

The Legislature returned to Montgomery on Tuesday, March 16, for day 15 of the session.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.

The Alabama Legislature convened for day 13 of the 30-day regular session on Tuesday, March 9. The Legislature met in session on Tuesday and Thursday with 24 committee meetings held throughout the week. Some 876 bills have been introduced to date: 541 in the House and 335 in the Senate.

The Legislature returned to Montgomery on Tuesday, March 16, for day 15 of the session with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate convening at 3 p.m.

During the week

HB177 by Rep. Reynolds: To allow a municipality to use electronic records and signatures in the conduct of its affairs. 

HB246 by Rep. Gray: To authorize local boards of education to offer yoga to students in grades K-12. HB309 by Rep. Clouse General Fund Budget for fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021. 

HB320 by Rep. Lawrence: To provide a cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021. 

HB403 by Rep. Stringer: To create the crime of doxing, publicly revealing private personal information, and to establish penalties for violations. 

HB404 by Rep. South: To provide that a student athlete may earn compensation for the use of the student’s name, image or likeness.

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HB458 by Rep. Crawford 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. 

SB97 by Sen. Whatley: Carried over a bill to provide that a state of emergency terminates after 14 days and may be extended only by 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. 

SB167 by Sen. Jones: To provide for licensure for wine festivals, and to authorize a winery to provide tastings and sell its wine for on-premises or off-premises consumption at a wine festival. 

SB238 by Sen. McClendon: To provide that a qualified voter who is blind or visually impaired, if verified by the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, may vote by absentee ballot. 

SB275 by Sen. Givhan: To authorize the use of remote notarization for acknowledgments. 

HB105 by Rep. Ball: To prohibit the Attorney General or a district attorney from presenting a suspected ethics violation by an individual subject to the code of ethics to a grand jury without a referral by the State Ethics Commission, and to provide for an additional member of the Commission (Amended in House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee). 

HB157 by Rep. Hanes To create the Second Amendment Preservation Act to protect the right to keep and bear arms (Amended in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

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HB248 by Rep. Rich: To provide for the broadcast of public K-12 school sporting events (Amended in House Education Policy Committee). 

HB411 by Rep. McCampbell: To create a Law Enforcement Officer Employment Database, and require law enforcement agencies to report certain complaints, disciplinary actions, and background information (Substituted in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

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 (Public Hearing but not vote in House Health Committee). 

SB46 by Sen. Melson: To authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, dispensing and use of medical cannabis (Public Hearing, but no vote, in House Judiciary Committee). 

SB88 by Sen. Smitherman: To authorize the governing body of a Class 1 municipality (Birmingham) to establish up to 15 entertainment districts (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

SB169 by Sen. Figures: To provide for an increase in the number of executive level employees which the director of the Alabama State Port Authority is entitled to appoint and to provide that the commercial terms of certain contracts entered into by the Port Authority are exempt from certain state laws limiting confidentiality (House State Government Committee). 

HB27 by Rep. Simpson: To create the crime of aggravated home repair fraud to provide enhanced criminal penalties for home repair fraud committed for the repair of a residential structure that was damaged as a result of an event which was declared a state of emergency by the Governor (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

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HB136 by Rep. C. Brown: To designate the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab as the official Aquarium of Alabama (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

HB143 by Rep. Lovvorn: To require the state Emergency Management Agency to adopt guidelines for individuals and entities to volunteer to have property designated as safer place facilities during severe weather events (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

HB201 by Rep. Hill: To allow the sales of land for taxes to occur on the premises of or within the courthouse or courthouse annex of a county (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

HB235 by Rep. McMillan: To permit a pet dog in an outdoor dining area of a food service establishment under certain conditions (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

HB274 by Rep. Drummond: To authorize the Alabama Board of Cosmetology to regulate and license mobile salons and adopt any necessary rules related to that licensure and regulation (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

SB11 by Sen. Givhan: To exempt airport authorities from paying sales and use taxes, and to include airport authorities in the list of governmental entities that may be issued an annual certificate of exemption (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

SB127 by Sen. Scofield: To provide for the broadcast of public K-12 school sporting events (Amended in Senate Education Policy Committee). 

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SB260 by Sen. Singleton: To increase the minimum threshold to require competitive bidding from $15,000 to $25,000, and to authorize a county or municipality to establish a local preference zone for the awarding of contracts under the competitive bid law (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

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 (Amended in Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

SB283 by Sen. Chambliss: To prohibit the use of electronic vote counting systems that are capable of connecting to the internet or cell phone networks, or that possess modem technology (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

SB290 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 (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

SB308 by Sen. Price: To establish the Alabama Uniform Concealed Carry Permit Act to standardize the process by which concealed carry permits may be issued, and create a state firearms prohibited person database (Senate Judiciary Committee).

Significant introductions this week in the House

HB511 by Rep. C. Brown: To exempt all commercial fishing vessels and equipment from ad valorem taxex, and provide for an exemption from sales and use taxes on bait and all materials and equipment used by commercial fishermen. 

HB518 by Rep. Mooney: To authorize the Legislative Council to review presidential executive orders, make recommendations to the Attorney General and the Governor, and prohibit state agencies and political subdivisions from implementing an executive order that restricts individual rights or that relates to certain topics and is determined by the Attorney General to be unconstitutional. 

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HB541 by Rep. Poole: To create the Innovate Alabama Matching Grant Program to provide matching grants to entities that have received federal Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer Research grants. 

Significant introductions this week in the Senate

SB314 by Sen. Melson: To provide that an economic development authority distributing monies from an economic development fund established by local law may match funds for the creation of a workforce training and development center on property owned by county commissions, under certain circumstances. 

SB318 by Sen. Gudger: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to establish a lottery, provide for the sale of lottery tickets including instant tickets and multi-state lottery games, and for the distribution of lottery proceeds. 

SB319 by Sen. McClendon: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to establish a lottery, Lottery Trust Fund, and the Alabama Lottery Commission. 

SB320 by Sen. McClendon: A provide for the powers and duties of the Alabama Lottery Commission, the use of lottery proceeds, and the various state and local taxes on gaming revenue. 

SB334 by Sen. Whatley: To allow any retailer licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption to use a drive-through or walk-up window for the purchase of beer and wine, and require the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to adopt rules. 

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. 

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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

Budget bill statuses:

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

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HB309 Rep. Clouse: General Fund Budget Passed by House as substituted and amended, pending in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

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

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.