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Alabama 2022 Legislative Report: Week 3

The Legislature will return for day 7 of the legislative session on Feb. 8 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 2:30 p.m. 

The Alabama Senate during a special session. (JOHN H. GLENN/APR)

The Alabama Legislature convened for Day 4 of the Regular Session on Tuesday, February 1, and also met in session on Wednesday and Thursday for Days 5 and 6. Committee meetings were held throughout the week. 

The Legislature will return for Day 7 of the Regular Session on February 8 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 2:30 p.m. 

During the week

The Senate considered appointments made by various officials to the Medical Cannabis Commission. All members presented were confirmed with the exception of the Attorney General’s appointment of Bryan Taylor which was carried over. Confirmed were B. James Harwell, Dion Robinson, Jerzey Szaflarski, William P. Saliski, Sam Blakemore, Dwight Gamble, Rex Vaughn, Charles Price, Steven Hold Stokes, Eric L. Jenson, Loree J. Skelton, Angela Martin and Taylor Hatchett. 

The Senate passed a number of the Sunset bills which are required each year to continue certain boards and commissions. Included were bills to continue the Board of Home Medical Equipment, the Sickle Cell Oversight and Regulatory Commission, the Construction Recruitment Institute, and the Real Estate Commission.

HB176 by Rep. South: To authorize bussers and servers in a restaurant or other business that sells alcoholic beverages who are between the ages of 18 and 20 to serve alcoholic beverages provided they do not serve as bartenders. 

HB188 by Rep. Sorrell: To require the State Board of Education to adopt rules pertaining to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in public K-12 schools, and to require a reduction in funding for schools in violation of those rules. 

HB193 by Rep. Allen: To prohibit a person from paying or offering to pay an individual to obtain, deliver, or assist in completing another voter’s absentee ballot, and to prohibit a person from accepting payment to obtain, deliver, or assist in completing another voter’s absentee ballot. 

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HB194 by Rep. Allen: To prohibit certain public officials responsible for the conduct of an election, or their employees, from soliciting, accepting, or using certain donations from an individual or non-governmental entity for the purpose of funding certain election related expenses. 

HB197 by Rep Scott: To prohibit state or local law enforcement from using artificial intelligence and facial recognition to engage in surveillance with certain exceptions, and to prohibit the use of artificial intelligence or a facial recognition service as the sole basis to establish probable cause or arrest. 

HB202 by Rep. Lawrence: To provide a 4 percent cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2022. 

HB203 by Rep. Hanes: To designate the 22nd day of January of each year as the “Day of Tears” in recognition of the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that access to abortion was a right secured by the Constitution. 

HB204 by Rep. Hanes: To require the canvassing board of each county to conduct a one-time post election audit of the November 3, 2020 election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported outcome of the election. 

HB207 by Rep. South: To create the Alabama Airport Economic and Infrastructure Program to fund and pay debt for improvements to general aviation airports, commercial service airports, and expand commercial air service in Alabama. 

HB208 by Rep. Wilcox: To create the crime of aggravated menacing and establish criminal penalties for violations. 

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HB213 by Rep. Drummond: To abolish the Office of the Mobile County Treasurer upon the expiration of the current term of office. 

HB218 by Rep. Jackson: To require each county to provide at least one early voting center during the week immediately preceding election day. 

HB226 by Rep. Simpson: To provide for the assessment and collection of additional court costs in certain criminal cases in Mobile County circuit and district courts for the creation, implementation, and continued administration of a mental health diversionary program. 

HB250 by Rep. Hassell: To authorize the Alabama Port Authority to build intermodal and multi-modal transfer facilities. 

HB255 by Rep. Shredd: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the state, a county, or a municipality to grant certain monies to public or private entities for broadband infrastructure. 

HB261 by Rep. Sorrell To ban non-surgical chemical abortions and to provide criminal penalties for violations. 

HB266 by Rep. Allen: To prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty. 

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SENATE

SB125 by Sen. Scofield: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the state, a county or a municipality to grant certain monies to public or private entities for broadband infrastructure. 

SB128 by Sen. Williams: To authorize and provide procedures for the use of an online public auction for the collection of delinquent property taxes. 

SB134 by Sen. Chesteen: To provide certain requirements for the purchase, possession, and sale of certain used, detached catalytic converters, and provide criminal penalties for a violation. 

SB145 by Sen. Shelnutt: To specify that the definition of gross receipts, for the purposes of a municipal business license, does not include any excise tax imposed by federal, state, and local governments. 

SB147 by Sen. Orr: To provide that members of certain governmental bodies participating in a meeting by electronic means are present for all purposes so long as a certain number of members are physically present, and would remove a prohibition on participation in executive sessions by members through electronic means. 

SB163 by Sen. Figures: To specify that Robert E. Lee Day would be observed on the second Monday in October. 

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SB171 by Sen Orr: To prohibit the use of the Common Core State Standards in public K-12 schools, and to implement steps to improve mathematics proficiency of public school kindergarten to fifth grade students. 

SB181 by Sen. Holley: To prohibit any person from leaving an unattended domestic animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or harm to the animal. 

SB184 by Sen. Shelnutt: To prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty. 

SB186 by Sen. Hatcher: To authorize the Alabama Port Authority to build intermodal and multi-modal transfer facilities. 

Significant committee action this week

HOUSE 

HB2 by Rep. Treadaway: To create the Anti-Aggravated Riot Act; to create the crimes of assault against a first responder, to provide for a mandatory period of incarceration for the crimes of riot and inciting a riot, to create the crime of aggravated riot, and to create the crime of unlawful traffic interference (Public hearing but no vote in House Judiciary). 

HB21 by Rep. Stadthagan: To provide for enhanced criminal penalties for the act of damaging a critical infrastructure while committing the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure and doing so while operating certain unmanned aircraft systems (Amended in House Judiciary Committee). 

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HB24 by Rep. K. Brown: To prohibit the use of a wireless communication devise while operating a motor vehicle (House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

HB143 by Rep. Pettus: To provide that any person convicted of a crime that caused the death of another person would not be eligible for correctional incentive time (amended in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

SENATE 

SB1 by Sen. Allen: To authorize individuals to carry a pistol or other firearm concealed or in a vehicle without a permit (Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB2 by Sen. Allen: To create the Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act to prohibit the state and political subdivisions of the state, and their law enforcement officers, agents, and employees, from participating in the implementation or enforcement of any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation relating to firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition (Amended in Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB12 by Sen. Melson: To eliminate the requirement for a person to obtain a concealed carry permit in order to carry a pistol on certain property or in a motor vehicle (Public hearing but no vote in Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB83 by Sen. Melson: To create the Alabama Airport Economic and Infrastructure Program, to fund and pay debt for improvements to general aviation airports, commercial service airports, and expand commercial air service in Alabama (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

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SB127 by Sen. Allen: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to require local boards of education to adopt policies requiring each K-12 public school to broadcast or sanction the performance of The Star Spangled Banner during certain school activities (Senate Education Policy Committee). 

SB140 by Sen. Marsh: To establish the Parent’s Choice Act relating to K-12 education, to provide for the process for creating, funding, and utilizing education savings accounts, and to specify which expenses are qualified expenses (Amended in Senate Education Policy Committee). 

Significant floor passage this week

HOUSE 

HB10 by Rep. C. Brown: To exempt all vessels and equipment used in commercial fishing from ad valorem tax, create a sales and use tax differential of one and one-half percent for the purchase and storage of all vessels and machinery used in the process of commercial fishing, and exempt bait and all materials and equipment used in the process of commercial fishing from sales and use tax. 

HB39 by Rep. C. Brown: To authorize the transfer from the Insurance Department Fund to the Strengthen Alabama Homes Fund any amount remaining in the Insurance Department Fund on September 39, 2022, which exceeded 25% of the amount appropriated for the Insurance Department Fund, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022. 

HB46 by Rep. Collins: To establish the State Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. 

HB82 by Rep. Garrett: To provide that for the tax years ending after the enactment of the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, any amount of cancellation of indebtedness income resulting from a loan forgiven under the American Rescue Plan Act shall be exempt from income taxes, not considered in determining expenses, and excluded from any and all calculations in determining a taxpayer’s federal income tax deduction. 

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SENATE 

SB17 by Sen. Gudger: To provide for enhanced criminal penalties for the act of damaging a critical infrastructure while committing the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure and doing so while operating certain unmanned aircraft systems. 

SB22 by Sen. Price: To provide that a retail table wine licensee may dispense wine for off-premises consumption in containers approved by the board. 

SB42 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. 

SB46 by Sen. Chambliss: To prohibit the use of electronic vote counting systems that are capable of connection to the Internet or cell phone networks, or that possess modem technology. 

SB47 by Sen. Chambliss: To require any approved electronic vote counting system used in an election to require the use of paper ballots. 

SB52 by Sen. Chesteen To provide for the determination of reasonable compensation by motor vehicle manufacturers or similar entities for pre-delivery and warranty service by motor vehicle dealers. 

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SB56 by Sen. Orr: To prohibit state or local law enforcement agencies from using artificial intelligence or facial recognition services to engage in ongoing surveillance, and prohibit the results of artificial intelligence or a facial recognition service from being the sole basis for making an arrest or for establishing probable cause. 

SB58 by Sen. Chesteen: To authorize the county tax assessing official to appear and defend the state in appeals when the taxable value of property is at issue, and to provide that the action is considered an appearance of the state unless the Department of Revenue intervenes. 

SB64 by Sen. Chambliss: To authorize the establishment of entertainment districts within certain community development districts. 

SB77 by Sen. Givhan: To prohibit any state agency or institution from purchasing a U.S. Flag or Alabama flag that was not manufactured in the U.S. 

SB152 by Sen. Roberts: To provide that the reduction in the individual federal income tax deduction associated with the federal child tax credits would be calculated as if the individual paid the federal income tax that would otherwise have been paid.

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