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Legislature

Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week seven

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 6, for day 19 of the session.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.

The Alabama Legislature convened for Day 17 of the 30 day Regular Session on Tuesday, March 30. The Legislature met in Session on Tuesday and Thursday with 21 committee meetings held throughout the week. 974 bills have been introduced to date, 591 in the House and 383 in the Senate. 

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 6, for Day 19 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2:30 p.m. 

Significant floor passage this week

HB248 by Rep. Rich: To provide for the broadcast of public K-12 school sporting events. 

HB273 by Rep. Drummond: To raise the minimum age for legal possession, transportation, and purchase of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, and alternative nicotine products from 19 to 21. 

HB410 by Rep. Lee: To extend the existing sales and use tax exemption on parts, components, and systems used in the refurbishing of aircraft. 

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. 

HB437 by Rep. Collins: To authorize common carriers to make delivery of alcoholic beverages to Alabama residents, and to provide for direct wine shipper permits. 

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HB538 by Rep. Baker: To revise the timeframe to apply to vote by absentee ballot and revise certain procedures relating to the processing of absentee ballots. 

SB9 by Sen. Elliott: To provide that the total amount allocated to a local board of education includes an allowance for student growth. 

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. 

SB43 by Sen. Price: To require the state Emergency Management Agency to adopt guidelines for individuals and entities throughout the state to volunteer to have property designated as safer place facilities during severe weather events. 

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. 

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. 

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

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SB126 by Sen. Waggoner: To provide for a delivery service license issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that would allow the licensee to deliver sealed beer and wine from certain licensed retail establishments directly to individuals in Alabama who are at least 21 years of age for their personal use. 

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. 

HB103 by Rep. Kiel: To provide that during a state of emergency involving a pandemic, epidemic, bioterrorism event, or the appearance of a novel or previously controlled or eradication infectious disease or biological toxin, any business or religious institution may continue or resume operations if they comply with any applicable emergency order, rule or regulation. 

SB97 by Sen. Whatley: To provide that an executive declared 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. 

SB140 by Sen. Melson: To specify the responsibilities and duties of owners, operators, occupants, and creditors of a self-storage facility in the event of default of a rental agreement. 

SB332 by Sen. Hatcher: To amend existing law to update a reference to the federal motor carrier safety regulations relating to entry level driver training requirements. 

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. 

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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.

Significant committee action this week

HB238 by Rep. Shaver: To provide that if a person is convicted of boating or driving under the influence, the person’s boating and driver’s licenses will be suspended; to require a person to operate a vessel at idle speeds under certain conditions; to provide boater safety certification requirements (Public hearing but no vote in House Judiciary Committee). 

HB548 by Rep. Pringle: To remove the requirement that the chief legal counsel and assistant legal counsel of the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts be deputy attorneys general (Amended in House State Government Committee). 

HB560 by Rep. Isbell: 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 (House Economic Development and Tourism 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 (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

SB70 by Sen. Livingston: To provide the same limited and sovereign immunity, and ability to participate in the Educators Liability Trust Fund, to the Board of Trustees of the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering and the administrative staff, teachers, and employees of the school (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

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 (Substituted in House Judiciary 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 House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee). 

SB298 by Sen. Orr: To clarify that any grants awarded by the Alabama Innovation Act to a research entity must be the result of a partnership with a private sector applicant, and to authorize the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to establish a competitive scoring system to award grants (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB167 by Rep. Blackshear: To prohibit an Alabama voter from voting or attempting to vote in this state and also in another state (Amended in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

HB246 by Rep. Gray: To authorize local boards of education to offer yoga to students in grades K-12 (Public hearing and carried over in Senate Judiciary Committee). 

HB391 by Rep. Stadthagen: To provide that public K-12 schools may not participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition against athletes who are of a different biological gender (Amended in Senate Education Policy Committee). 

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 (Amended in House Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB165 by Sen. Orr: To provide for the rights of citizens to access public records, establish procedures for making and responding to requests for access, and establish administrative and judicial remedies (Amended in Senate Judiciary Committee). 

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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 (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB345 by Sen. Singleton: To establish the Pilot Program for Small Business Development under the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.). 

Significant introductions this week

HB575 by Rep. Holmes: To prohibit a candidate or poll watcher from assisting an individual with voting and to make municipal election laws regarding assistance with voting consistent with non-municipal voting laws. 

HB576 by Rep. Whorton: To provide that Alabama would observe Daylight Savings Time year-round if an act of Congress amends the current prohibition in federal law. 

HB586 by Rep. C. Brown: To restrict the location of a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park or the sitting and installation of a mobile home, manufactured housing unit, or a manufactured building within a certain distance of Mobile Bay with exceptions. 

SB355 by Sen. Whatley: To increase the maximum compulsory K-12 school attendance age from 17 to 18 years and to raise the age at which a student may withdraw from public school from 18 to 19 years. 

SB374 by Sen. Williams: To substantially revise the law governing tax collection and the duties and powers thereof. 

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On the lighter side

The House State Government Committee gave a favorable report to a bill that would designate the sweet potato as the official state vegetable of Alabama. If enacted, the sweet potato will join the Monarch Butterfly (State Insect), the Pecan (State Nut), and the Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle (State Reptile), among others, as an official symbol of the State of Alabama (SB171 by Senator Garlan Gudger). 

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. 

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.

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

SB80 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. 

Budgets

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 Passed by Senate as substituted and amended, pending in House Ways and Means Education Committee.

Written By

DIG DEEPER

Governor

The governor will host a ceremonial bill signing for a number of pieces of legislation passed during the 2021 Legislative Session.

Legislature

API opposed medical marijuana and gaming and supported efforts to limit the governor's powers, so senators with different views received low scores.

Governor

The legislation also streamlines the permitting process so it is handled in the same manner in each of the 67 counties.

Featured Opinion

"The Senate was deliberate, effective and efficient as it took up a longer-than-usual list of issues."