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Legislature

Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week 10

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 27 for day 26 of the session.

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

The Alabama Legislature convened for Day 24 of the 30 day Regular Session on Tuesday, April 20. The Legislature met in Session Tuesday and Thursday with 21 committee meetings held throughout the week. 1,042 bills have been introduced to date, 642 in the House and 400 in the Senate. 

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, April 27 for Day 26 of the Session with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2:00 p.m. 

During the week

The Senate concurred in the House amendments to SB11 by Sen. Givhan that exempts airport authorities and their contractors from paying sales and use taxes and includes airport authorities in the list of governmental entities that may be issued an annual certificate of exemption. The bill now goes to the Governor. 

The Senate delayed action on HB285 by Rep. Allen, a proposal to ban curbside voting in the state by carrying the bill over. 

The House failed to pass a procedural vote which would have allowed HB487 by Rep. Collins to be brought up for discussion on the House floor. The bill would allocate more funds to charter schools. 

The House defeated HB238 by Rep. Shaver that would have provided that if a person is convicted of boating or driving under the influence, the person’s boating and driver’s licenses will be suspended; require a person to operate a vessel at idle speeds under certain conditions; provide boater safety certification requirements. 

Significant floor passage this week

HJR196 by Rep. Faust: To recognize the importance of clean water access in the State of Alabama and endorsing the mission of Clean Water Alabama. 

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HB540 by Rep. Poole: To create the Alabama Innovation Corporation as an authority organized as a public corporation having a legal existence separate and apart from the state and any county, municipality, or political subdivision. 

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. 

HB609 by Rep. Gray: 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. 

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

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

SB261 by Sen. Chambliss: To provide certain prohibitions, authorizations, and requirements for contracts for the services of a design professional. 

SB275 by Sen. Givhan: To authorize the use of remote notarization for acknowledgments and to validate remote notarizations which occurred before July 1, 2021. 

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HB116 by Rep. Standridge: To authorized 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. 

HB167 by Rep. Blackshear: To prohibit an Alabama voter from voting or attempting to vote in this state and also in another state. 

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

HB385 by Rep. Hall: To revise the focus of the content, course materials, and instruction provided to public school students in any program or curriculum that includes sex education or the human reproductive process. 

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. 

SB6 by Sen. Elliott: To provide for the expenditure of funds received by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, pursuant to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006, for coastal conservation, restoration and protection. 

SB389 by Sen. Beasley: To increase the daily limit on how much liquor may be sold by certain distrilleries to customers for off-premises consumption. 

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Significant committee action this week

HB88 by Rep. Hollis: To require local boards of education to provide feminine hygiene products in women’s restrooms at schools under the boards’ jurisdiction (Substituted in House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB625 by Rep. Faulkner: To exempt various Community Foundations, including the Community Foundation of South Alabama, from state, county, or local sales and use taxes (Amended in House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB627 by Rep. Rafferty: To provide for a food truck license in a Class 1 municipality (Birmingham) that would allow a food truck to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption in open containers within a defined boundary in the vicinity of the food truck (Amended in House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

HB319 by Rep. Stringer: To authorize the Legislative Council to review executive orders issued by the President of the United States and submit them to the Attorney General for review, and to provide that when certain executive orders are determined by the attorney general to be an unconstitutional restriction of rights, the state or a political subdivision or agency may not implement the executive order (House Judiciary Committee). 

HB337 by Rep. Stringer: To create the Alabama Firearms Protection Act to prohibit the state, its agencies, and political subdivisions from participating in the enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation relating to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition (Public Hearing but no vote in House Judiciary Committee). 

SB188 by Sen. Orr: To provide a 2% pay increase to public education employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021 (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

SB190 by Sen. Orr: To make supplemental appropriations to various educational programs including $2 million to the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium (Substituted in House Ways and Means Education 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 (House County and Municipal Government 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 (Substituted in House Health Committee). 

SB373 by Sen. Orr: To require the Alabama Department of Labor to adopt policies to recover improper overpayments of unemployment benefits (House Fiscal Responsibility Committee).

SB385 by Sen. Williams: To provide that a licensee authorized to conduct race meetings may receive broadcasts of events conducted outside Mobile County and allow all forms of pari-mutuel wagering on those events (House Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

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 (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

HB340 by Rep. Faulkner: To include any contract for the construction of a highway, road, or bridge entered into on or after January 1, 2022 in the contracts required to be granted a certificate of exemption from sales and use tax for the purchase of construction materials when the contract is for a governmental entity which is tax exempt (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

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 (Amended in Senate Governmental Affairs Committee). 

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HB565 by Rep. Ledbetter: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds for the improvement, renovation, equipping, acquisition, provision, construction, and maintenance of Alabama state parks (Amended in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

HB573 by Rep. Ledbetter: To implement the Constitutional Amendment proposed in HB565 and provide for the membership and duties of the Alabama State Park Enhancement Authority (Amended in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).

SB395 by Sen. Smitherman: To require law enforcement officers to undergo periodic mental health evaluations (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

Significant introductions this week

HB638 by Rep. Mooney: To require photo ID to be submitted with an absentee ballot, to prohibit the absentee election manager from extending it hours of operation, to require a report be submitted to the Secretary of State and Attorney General, and to require a list of voters who have requested absentee ballots be posted in the county courthouse daily. 

HB642 by Rep. Bracy: To prohibit the operation of a train unless the train has a crew consisting of at least two individuals. 

SB398 by Sen. Shelnutt: To create the Anti-Aggravated Riot Act, to create the crimes of assault against a first responder, to further provide for the crimes of riot and inciting a riot, and to create the crime of unlawful traffic interference. 

SB400 by Sen. Allen: To provide that only individuals registered as an athlete agent with the state may represent student athletes for the purpose of exploring or securing compensation for use of the student athlete’s name, image, or likeness. 

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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 

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

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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. 

SB40 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. 

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

HB103 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. 

SB31 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 Sem. 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 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. 

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SB111 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. 

SB140 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. 

SB169 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. 

SB126 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. 

HB448 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. 

HB131 Rep. C. Brown: A proposed Constitutional Amendment (Aniah’s Law) that would require reasonable bail in all cases, except for offenses enumerated by the Legislature by general law. 

SB171 Sen. Gudger: To designate the sweet potato as the official state vegetable of Alabama.

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Significant bills enacted

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

HB132 Rep. Brown: To provide that the rate filings and related actuarial information for all insurance coverage in the state, with certain exceptions, are treated as public information and will be publicly available for review. 

SB274 Sen. Singleton: To establish the COVID-19 Recovery Capital Protection Act of 2021, to increase the amount of various types of compensation that may be exempted, and to provide an extension to the employment and wage requirements of the capital credit program and associated penalties. 

SB308 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. 

HB130 Rep. C. Brown: To provide for additional offenses that would require mandatory denial of bail. 

SB39 Sen. Price: 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. 

SB264 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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HB388 Rep. Carns: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to provide that the implementation date for any bill enacted by the Legislature in a calendar year in which a general election is to be held and relating to the conduct of the general election shall be at least six months before the general election. 

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, Substituted in House Ways and Means Education Committee; pending floor action in House.

Beth Lyons
Written By

DIG DEEPER

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