The Alabama Legislature convened for Day 16 of the Regular Session on Tuesday, March 1, and also met in session on Wednesday and Thursday for Days 17 and 18. Committee meetings were held throughout the week.
The Legislature will return for Day 19 of the Regular Session on March 8 with the House convening at 2 p.m. and the Senate at 2:30 p.m.
During the week
The Legislature passed a Senate Joint Resolution (SJR57 by Senator Vivian Davis Figures) to honor the late Senator Michael A. Figures by naming the portion of the Interstate 165 corridor connecting Interstate 10 to Interstate 65 in Mobile County the “Michael A. Figures Freeway.”
United States Senator Richard Shelby announced that the Mobile Airport Authority and the Alabama State Port Authority will receive a combined $100 million grant from the U. S, Department of Transportation Demonstration Program. $62 million will be used by the Mobile Airport Authority toward the construction of a new international airport terminal at the Brookley Aeroplex. The remaining $38 million will be used by the Port Authority for an interterminal connector bridge connecting the port to the intermodal container transfer facility and to improve utilities within a 124 acre logistics park.
Significant introductions this week
HB421 by Rep. Hill: To permit any person retired under the Employees’ Retirement System, who was classified as a law enforcement officer, to perform duties as a correctional officer without suspension of his or her retirement allowance.
HB427 by Rep. Sorrells: To establish a commercial deer hunting preserve licensing program for artificially propagated deer in an area bound by enclosures which effectively restricts the ingress and egress of deer.
HB431 by Rep. Simpson: To allow PAC to PAC (Political Action Committee) transfers among official county political party PACs and the state political party PAC.
HB433 by Rep. M. Moore: To prohibit the construction or commencement of operation of a crematory within one-half mile of any residence or residential area within a municipality.
HB442 by Rep. Hurst: To require public K-12 schools or a local school board to accept all forms of payment, including cash, for admission to school-sponsored sporting events that are open to the public.
HB444 by Rep. Almond: To disqualify from appearing on the ballot a candidate who fails to timely file a statement appointing his or her principal campaign committee.
HB447 by Rep. Garrett: To prohibit a county health officer, during a state of emergency, from issuing an order or directive that relates to the control of a pandemic or outbreak of a disease unless approved by the State Health Officer.
HB449 by Rep. Wadsworth: To prohibit the use of a photographic speed enforcement system within the state.
SB265 by Sen. Smitherman: To require each local board of education in the state, subject to appropriations by the Legislature, to employ a mental health service coordinator.
SB277 by Sen. Stutts: To remove the provision that called for additional motor fuel excise taxes levied under the Rebuild Alabama Act to be adjusted by an index rate every other year beginning on October 1, 2022.
SB278 by Sen. Stutts: To require a medical cannabis dispensary site to require a negative pregnancy test for women of childbearing age before allowing them to purchase medical cannabis, to prohibit breast-feeding women from purchasing medical cannabis for personal use, and require any dispensary to be located 1,000 feet from a daycare center or institution of higher learning.
SB287 by Sen. Singleton: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to provide for the election of associate justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the appellate courts by districts.
SB290 by Sen. Butler: 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 business privilege tax on amounts due of $100 or less for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2023.
SB292 by Sen. Barfoot: To prohibit the state and any of its political subdivisions or agencies from promoting or advancing certain concepts regarding race, sex, or religion in certain teaching or training.
SB293 by Sen. Albritton: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to provide for the limited authorization of gambling in the state to be supervised and regulated by a new Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission.
SB294 by Sen. Albritton: To implement the Constitutional amendment proposed by SB293, to provide for the membership and duties of the Alabama Education Lottery and Gambling Commission, to provide for the administration and distribution of funds, and provide for the issuing of various gambling licenses.
SB295 by Sen. Jones: To disqualify from appearing on the ballot a candidate who fails to timely file a statement appointing his or her principal campaign committee.
Significant committee action this week
HB136 by Rep. Garrett: To provide for a 4 percent pay increase for certain education employees for the fiscal year 2022-2023 (House Ways and Means Education Committee).
HB163 by Rep. Greer: To increase the optional standard income tax deduction and expand the adjusted gross income range allowable for the maximum optional standard deduction and the dependent exemption to increase the threshold at which the state imposes individual income taxes (House Ways and Means Education Committee).
HB176 by Rep. South: To authorize bussers and servers between the ages of 18 and 20 to serve alcoholic beverages in restaurants provided they do not serve as bartenders (Substituted in House Economic Development and Tourism 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 (Amended in House Judiciary Committee).
HB342 by Rep. Mooney: To prohibit the use of electronic vote counting systems that are capable of connection to the Internet or cell phone networks, that possess modem technology, or with a capability by which a remote device can connect to the system (Amended in House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee).
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 (House Ways and Means General Fund).
HB415 by Rep. Isbell: To prohibit a county from charging a farmer a license or other fee for the sale of farm products produced by the farmer, his or her immediate family or his or her employees (Amended in House County and Municipal Government Committee).
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 (Amended in House Ways and Means Education Committee).
SB170 by Sen. Orr: To exempt the academic performance of certain English as a second language students from consideration in the assigning of an academic achievement grade to a school or school system (Amended in House Education Policy Committee).
SB175 by Sen. Orr: To amend the Education Trust Fund Rolling Reserve Act to allow funds in the Education Trust Fund Advancement and Technology Fund to be used for capital outlay expenses (House Ways and Means Education Committee).
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 (House Judiciary Committee).
SB196 by Sen. Livingston: A proposed Constitutional amendment to require the Governor to provide notice to the Attorney General and a designated member of the victim’s family prior to granting a reprieve or commutation to a person under sentence of death, and to provide for the voiding of a reprieve or commutation upon failure of the Governor to provide notice (House Judiciary Committee).
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 (House Education Policy Committee).
HB77 by Rep. Rich: 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 would provide that the action is considered an appearance of the state unless the Department of Revenue intervenes (Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).
HB272 by Rep. Stringer: To authorize individuals to carry a firearm concealed at certain locations or in a vehicle without a permit (Public hearing and amended in Senate Judiciary Committee).
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 (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
SB38 by Sen. Jones: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to merge the Office of State Auditor into the Office of State Treasurer after the expiration of the term of office of the State Auditor in January 2031 (Substituted in Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).
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 (Amended in Senate Governmental Affairs Committee).
SB269 by Sen. Waggoner: To authorize the Governor to appoint honorary generals to the Alabama National Guard (Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee).
SB273 by Sen. Butler: To prohibit a county from charging a farmer a license or other fee for the sale of farm products produced by the farmer (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee).
SB274 by Sen. Livingston: To exempt from sales taxation producer value added agricultural products that are sold by the producer, the producer’s family or the producer’s employees (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee).
SB281 by Sen. Gudger: To prohibit wake surfing under certain conditions and within a certain distance of any shoreline, dock, pier, boathouse or other structure in the water (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
Significant floor passage this week
HB50 by Rep. Hollis: To establish a grant program for awarding funds to public schools to provide no cost feminine hygiene products to students.
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.
HB335 by Rep. Blackshear: To authorize banks and financial institutions to charge a closing fee in a limited amount on loans of less than $1,500, subject to partial refund upon prepayment of the loan.
HB371 by Rep. Ellis: To clarify that the tax collecting official of a county may conduct public tax lien auctions through an online method.
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.
SB104 by Sen. Givhan: To prohibit a corporation from issuing scrip in bearer form, thereby requiring a corporation to register all issued scrip of fractional stock.
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.
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.
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.
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).
HB272 by Rep. Stringer: To authorize individuals to carry a firearm concealed at certain locations or in a vehicle without a permit (Substituted in Senate).
HB285 by Rep. Clouse: To extend the privilege assessment and surcharge currently imposed on each bed in a nursing facility until August 31, 2025.
HB286 by Rep. Clouse: To extend the Hospital Provider Privilege Tax which provides funding for the Alabama Medicaid Agency until fiscal year 2025.
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.
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.
SB190 by Sen. McClendon: To require that any legal action contesting the validity of any statewide redistricting plan be heard by a three-judge panel comprised of judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Significant bills awaiting action by the governor
HB213 by Rep. Drummond: To abolish the Office of the Mobile County Treasurer upon the expiration of the current term of office.
HJR88 by Rep. Coleman: To provide for the ratification of the Constitution of Alabama of 2022, as proposed by the Director of the Legislative Services Agency with advise and recommendations from the Joint Interim Legislative Committee, removing all racist language, deleting duplicative and repealed provisions, consolidating provision regarding economic development, arranging all local amendments by county, and making no other changes.
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).”
SB28 by Sen. Whatley: To provide for the inclusion of the Space National Guard within the Alabama National Guard if the federal government creates the Space National Guard in the National Defense Authorization Act by fiscal year 2025.
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.
SB116 by Sen. Whatley: To establish a program for advance school enrollment of children of military families.
SB119 by Sen Barfoot: 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.
SB141 by Sen. Butler: To extend the timeframe for which a temporary occupational permit is effective for a military spouse.