The Alabama Legislature convened for day 13 of the 2022 legislative session on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and also met in session on Wednesday and Thursday for days 14 and 15. This marks the halfway point of the 30-day 2022 legislative session. Committee meetings were held throughout the week.
The Legislature will return for day 16 of the session on March 1 with the House convening at 1:30 p.m. and the Senate at 2:30 p.m.
During the week
The Alabama Senate passed the $2.7 billion General Fund Budget (SB106 by Sen. Albritton) which is an increase of $11 million from this current year. Included within the budget is money appropriated for $156 million in state debt, $100 million for a reserve fund, $30 million toward the state’s two new prison construction projects along with maintenance money for those prisons. It also contains increased funding for mental health, additional crisis diversion centers, and includes a 4% pay raise for state employees.
The Legislature held a Joint Session on Thursday morning to honor members of the military and veterans for Military Appreciation Day. The House also passed several Senate bills relating to military employees and their families including a bill to establish a program for advance school enrollment of children of military families (SB116 by Sen. Whatley), a bill that would extend the timeframe for which a temporary occupational permit is effective for a military spouse (SB141 by Sen. Butler), a bill to establish a Space National Guard within the Alabama National Guard if the federal government creates the Space National Guard by fiscal year 2025 (SB28 by Sen. Butler), and a bill to provide that scholarship benefits acquired through the Alabama G.I. and Dependents’ Educational Benefit Act may be used for instruction at any public or private institution of higher education located in the state that receives state funds (SB119 by Sen Barfoot).
Significant introductions this week
- HB387 by Rep. Fincher To terminate the use of the Common Core State Standards and the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards in K-12 public schools, and to prohibit the State Board of Education from adopting or implementing any other national standards or requiring the use of any assessments aligned with national standards.
- HB389 by Rep. Alexander To limit the amount of money a municipality may retain from fines and penalties generated from traffic tickets.
- HB391 by Rep. Clouse To provide for a reduced minimum business privilege tax of $50 for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022 and to provide a full exemption from the tax on amounts due of $100 or less for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2023.
- HB398 by Rep. Wadsworth To create a program within the Department of Labor to assist small businesses with job creation.
- HB401 by Rep. Meadows To create the Every Mother Matters Act to support certain services for women before and after childbirth, require physicians to confirm that a woman has received a free resource access assistance offer prior to performing an abortion, and to provide for the provision and contents of the offer.
- SB249 by Sen. Givhan To revise and consolidate various offenses related to voter fraud and provide for penalties.
- SB255 by Sen. Orr To require certain emergency rules, orders, or directives issued by the State Health Officer be approved by the Governor and a copy filed with the Secretary of State before the rule, order, or other directive has the full force and effect of law.
- SB258 by Sen. Williams To establish alternative methods for the posting of certain notices that are required to be posted in a conspicuous place at the county courthouse, either by posting on a publicly-accessible website maintained by the county or on an electronic display within the courthouse.
- SB261 by Sen. Roberts To allow a taxpayer to claim a tax credit of up to 100% of the tax liability of the taxpayer, not to exceed a specified amount, for contributions made to a scholarship granting organization for educational scholarships.
Significant committee action this week
- HB67 by Rep. Simpson To provide that a law enforcement officer or firefighter employed by a county, municipality, or fire district who is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder would be reimbursed for certain co-payments for treatment, and to require counties, municipalities, and fire districts to maintain certain disability insurance coverage for individuals who are unable to return to work as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (Public Hearing but no vote in House County and Municipal Government Committee).
- HB50 by Rep. Hollis To establish a grant program for awarding funds to public schools to provide no cost feminine hygiene products to students (Substituted in House Ways and Means Education Committee). HB111 by Rep. Ingram To create the Police Funding Protection Act; to prohibit the reduction of the operating budget of local law enforcement agencies by 30% or more relative to the previous fiscal year (Substituted in House County and Municipal Government Committee).
- HB122 by Rep. Garrett To prohibit a train, unless stopped due to mechanical failure or derailment, from blocking a railroad-highway grade crossing upon the approach of any authorized emergency vehicle (Amended in House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee).
- HB197 by Rep. Scott To prohibit state or local law enforcement from using facial recognition technology match results as the sole basis for making an arrest or for establishing probable cause in a criminal investigation (Substituted in House Judiciary Committee).
- 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 US Supreme Court ruled that access to abortion was a right secured by the Constitution (House State Government Committee).
- HB261 by Rep. Sorrell To ban non-surgical chemical abortions and to provide criminal penalties for violations (House Judiciary Committee).
- 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 (Public hearing but no vote in House Judiciary Committee).
- HB312 by Rep. Oliver To prohibit the state, any of its political subdivisions or agencies, K-12 schools and public institutions of higher education from teaching certain concepts relating to race, sex, or religion, and to allow them to discipline or terminate certain employees (Public hearing but no vote in House State Government Committee).
- HB315 by Rep. Givan To create the crime of misrepresenting the police jurisdiction of a municipality and establish penalties for violations (House Judiciary Committee).
- HB360 by Rep. Hall To extend the period during which a pregnant woman who is eligible to receive medical assistance under Medicaid may continue to receive Medicaid assistance from 60 days to one year after giving birth (Public hearing but no vote in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
- HB371 by Rep. Ellis To clarify that the tax collecting official of a county may conduct public tax lien auctions through an online method (House County and Municipal Government Committee).
- SB56 by Sen. Orr To prohibit state or local law enforcement from using facial recognition technology match results as the sole basis for making an arrest or for establishing probable cause in a criminal investigation (Substituted in House 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 (Amended in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
- SB123 by Sen. Scofield To increase the minimum service threshold for Internet under the Connect Alabama Act of 2021 to at least 100 megabits per second downstream and 20 megabits per second upstream (House Urban and Rural Development Committee).
- SB124 by Sen. Scofield To increase the minimum service threshold for high-speed broadband services at or above 100 megabits per second of download speed and 100 megabits per second of upload speed for the broadband accessibility grant program (Amended in House Urban and Rural Development Committee).
- 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 (House Urban and Rural Development Committee).
- SB169 by Sen. Figures To establish a registry for individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes against elders or who are found by the Department of Human Resources to have committed various forms of elder abuse or abuse against adults in need of protective services (Amended in House Judiciary Committee).
- SB211 by Sen. Elliott To provide for the issuance by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) of certificates of title on vessels and to require owners of vessels to obtain a certificate of title (Amended in House State Government Committee).
- 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 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
- HB105 by Rep. Gaston To establish a registry for individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes against elders or who are found by the Department of Human Resources to have committed various forms of elder abuse or abuse against adults in need of protective services (Amended in Senate Judiciary Committee).
- HB119 by Rep. Isbell To allow a retailer licensed to sell beer or wine for off-premises consumption to use a drive-through or walk-up window for the purchase of beer and wine (Amended in Senate Tourism Committee).
- HB250 by Rep. Hassell To authorize the Alabama Port Authority to build intermodal and multi-modal transfer facilities (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
- HB255 by Rep. Shedd 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 (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
- HB285 by Rep. Clouse To extend the privilege assessment and surcharge currently imposed on each bed in a nursing facility until August 31, 2025 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
- HB286 by Rep. Clouse To extend the Hospital Provider Privilege Tax which provides funding for the Alabama Medicaid Agency until fiscal year 2025 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
- HB287 by Rep. Clouse To impose an assessment on emergency medical transport providers to provide additional Medicaid enhancement payments for the maintenance and expansion of emergency medical transport services (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
- SB224 by Sen. Orr To require an unemployed individual to search for work a certain number of times per week to be eligible to receive unemployment benefits (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
- SB234 by Sen. Albritton To provide that the governing body of a county or municipality has authority to approve or disapprove each new solid waste management site or a modified existing site (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
Significant floor passage this week
- 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; to prohibit a political subdivision of the state from reducing the budget of a law enforcement agency by 50% or more relative to the previous fiscal year unless certain conditions are met.
- HB20 by Rep. Lee To extend the existing sales and use tax exemption on parts, components, and systems used in the refurbishing of aircraft.
- HB272 by Rep. Stringer To authorize individuals to carry a firearm concealed at certain locations or in a vehicle without a permit.
- HB305 by Rep. Lee To clarify that a business that provides rental and leasing services in a municipality, but has no other physical presence in the municipality, may be required to purchase a delivery license, with certain exceptions, for delivering rented equipment or property.
- HB322 by Rep. Stadthagen To require public K-12 schools to designate all rooms that are accessible to multiple students of one sex to be used by male and female students on the basis of biological sex.
- SB9 by Sen. Elliott To provide for the expenditure of funds received by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for coastal conservation, restoration and protections pursuant to the “Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA).”
- 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.
- HB213 by Rep. Drummond To abolish the Office of the Mobile County Treasurer upon the expiration of the current term of office.
- SB30 by Sen. Singleton To provide for a funded one-time longevity bonus payment in addition to the retirement benefits of certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Teachers’ Retirement System.
- SB106 by Sen. Albritton General Fund Budget.
- SB110 by Sen. Albritton To provide a 4% cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2022.
- SB111 by Sen. Albritton To provide for a funded longevity bonus in addition to the retirement benefits of certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Employees’ Retirement System.
- 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 (Senate concurred in House Amendment).
- 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.
- SB191 by Sen. Albritton To make supplemental appropriations for the American Rescue Plan Act – State Small Business Credit Initiative Fund for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022.
- SB200 by Sen. Smitherman To postpone the implementation of the Alabama Literacy Act, which requires third grade students to demonstrate sufficient reading skills before being promoted to fourth grade, until the 2024-2025 school year.
- SB227 by Sen. Figures A proposed Mobile County Constitutional Amendment to provide for a judicial nominating commission in Mobile County, and to provide for the composition, duties and powers of the commission.
Significant bills enacted
- HB76 by Rep. South to repeal Act 2021-227 which allowed student athletes to receive compensation for use of his or her name, image, or likeness. Act No. 2022-2
- 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. Act No. 2022-34
- HB231 by Rep. Carns 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. Act No. 2022-37
- SB22 by Sen. Price to provide that a retail table wine licensee may dispense wine for off-premises consumption in containers approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Act No. 2022-39
- SB64 by Sen. Chambliss to authorize the establishment of entertainment districts within certain community development districts. Act No. 2022-50
The Education Trust Fund Budget, HB135 by Rep. Garrett, is pending committee action in the House Ways and Means Education Committee.
The General Fund Budget, SB106 by Sen. Albritton, has been substituted, amended, and passed by the Senate. It is pending in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.