The Alabama Legislature convened for Day 22 of the Regular Session on Tuesday, March 15, and also met in session on Thursday for Day 23. Committee meetings were held throughout the week.
The Legislature is taking a scheduled break this week and will return for Day 24 of the Regular Session on Tuesday, March 29 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 3 p.m. There are 7 session days remaining in the Regular Session.
During the week
The Senate did not concur with the House Substitute to the General Fund Budget (SB106 by Senator Greg Albritton). A conference committee was appointed to work out the differences in the budget.
The Senate confirmed several Board and Commission appointments including Edward F. Crowell to the Alabama Committee on Monument Protection, Herbert McCants to the Board of Polygraph Examiners, and Joseph H. Twardy and Caroleene Hardee Dobson to the Alabama Forestry Commission.
Significant introductions this week
HB507 by Rep. Reynolds: To establish the Alabama Council on Law Enforcement Policy within the Lieutenant Governor’s office and to provide for the powers and duties of the council.
HB510 by Rep. Mooney: To prohibit an occupational licensing board from taking adverse action against a physician who recommends certain COVID-19 treatments, to require a patient’s written, informed consent to certain COVID-19 treatments, and to require health care facilities and pharmacies to provide certain COVID-19 treatments that are not approved by the FDA.
HB511 by Rep. Stadthagen: To create the Healthier Homes Construction Practice Act to authorize counties and municipalities to adopt procedures for the installation and activation of temporary permanent electricity or temporary or permanent gas under certain conditions.
HB512 by Rep. Stringer: To prohibit the disclosure of personal identifying information of law enforecment officers and employees upon request of the officer or employee.
HB516 by Rep. Grimsley: To suspend a portion of the state excise taxes on gasoline and motor fuels from May 1, 2022 until September 1, 2022.
HB517 by Rep. Grimsley: To exempt sales of food from the sales and use taxes from July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.
HB518 by Rep. Grimsley: To create a small business micro-loan program to provide micro-loans to eligible small businesses and to establish a micro-loan tax credit for the benefit of the small business micro-loan program.
SB314 by Sen. Elliott: To establish the Alabama Council on Law Enforcement Policy within the Lieutenant Governor’s office and to provide for the powers and duties of the council.
SB315 by Sen. Jones: To provide that a nonprofit organization may apply for and be issued a license to host a wine festival.
SB316 by Sen. Melson: To further provide for participation by electronic communication at meetings of governmental bodies.
SB318 by Sen. Sessions: To increase the valid period of a driver’s license from four years to eight years.
SB320 by Sen. Weaver: To support certain services for women before and after childbirth, and to require a physician, prior to the performance of an abortion, to confirm that a woman upon whom an abortion is to be performed has receive a free resource access assistance offer.
SB324 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 and prohibit breast-feeding women from purchasing medical cannabis unless as a registered caregiver.
SB325 by Sen. Whatley: To provide further for judicial redemption civil actions brought by the owner of property attempting to recover the property after the sale for delinquent taxes.
Significant committee action this week
HB310 by Rep. Standridge: To provide prohibitions on the enforcement of certain presidential executive orders which provide certain limitations or restrictions on the ownership, use, or possession of firearms, accessories and ammunition (House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).
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 (House Education Policy Committee).
HB462 by Rep. Rafferty: To create the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do-Not-Sell List that would allow an individual to restrict his or her ability to purchase or possess a firearm by voluntarily adding his or her name to the list when there is fear that he or she may become a risk to himself or herself or others (Amended in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).
HB469 by Rep. C. Brown: To provide options for the City of Semmes and the Town of Dauphin Island regarding hiring and employment (Mobile County Legislation Committee).
HB474 by Rep. Robbins: To authorize the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to issue recycle credits to persons using recyclable materials diverted from the solid waste stream in order to produce a new product or an energy source (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
HB477 by Rep. Collins: To define advanced recycling as a manufacturing process to convert post-use materials such as plastics into basic hydrocarbon raw materials, and to specify that advanced recycling would not be considered solid waste disposal or incineration under the solid waste act (House Commerce and Small Business Committee).
HB485 by Rep. Drake: To authorize animal control officers and law enforcement officers to investigate when a dog is reported to have caused injury to livestock, and to provide for penalties (Amended in House Agriculture and Forestry Committee).
HB489 by Rep. Shaver: To provide for the suspension of a person’s boating license and driver’s license upon a conviction for boating under the influence or operating a motor vehicle under the influence (House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).
HB490 by Rep. Shaver: To require all nonresidents to procure a boater safety certification in their home state or country or procure a Nonresident Alabama Boater Safety Certification prior to operating a vessel on the waters of this state (House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).
HB501 by Rep. C. Brown: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize an official state lottery, create the Alabama Education Lottery Commission, and provide for the use of the proceeds of the lottery (Public Hearing and Amended in House Economic Development and Tourism Committee).
HB502 by Rep. C. Brown: To implement the Constitutional Amendment proposed by HB501, to provide for the powers, membership and duties of the Alabama Education Lottery Commission, the licensure of lottery ticket retailers, and for the distribution of the revenue (Public Hearing and Amended in House Economic Development and Tourism Committee).
HB503 by Rep. Sorrells: To allow certain land owners to register and pay a fee for an earlier deer season start date (House Agriculture and Forestry Committee).
SB203 by Sen. Orr: To require the Administrative Office of Courts to establish a statewide databse and public website to include data concerning fines and fees collected in each municipality, require each municipality to submit an Annual Municipality Financial Report to an online portal, and require the Chief Examiner or an independent certified public accountant to submit a written report summaring collection activity by municipalities to the Legislature, Attorney General and Governor (Amended in House Judiciary 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 (Amended in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee).
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 (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
HB94 by Rep. K. Brown: To extend the existence of the Alabama Commission on Tick Borne Illness until September 30, 2025 (Senate Banking and Insurance Committee).
HB104 by Rep. Gaston: To further provide for the conditions in which a felon qualifies for a posthumous pardon (Senate Judiciary Committee).
HB170 by Rep. Scott: To create the crime of female genital mutilation and provide criminal penalties for a violation (Senate Judiciary 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 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee).
HB395 by Rep. Lovvorn: To create a new type of alcoholic beverage license that would authorize certain public universities that have a hospitality management program to produce, transfer, and sell alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises of the university in furtherance of its academic program (Senate Judiciary Committee).
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 (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
SB282 by Sen. Gudger: To provide that only 10 percent of a municipalities budget may come from fines and penalties generated from traffic tickets with excess funds to be distributed to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund and the Fair Trial Tax Fund (Amended in Senate Judiciary Committee).
SB301 by Sen. Barfoot: To provide for additional criminal offenses that would prohibit a convicted person from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition (Senate Judiciary Committee).
SB311 by Sen. Williams: To allow certain land owners to register and pay a fee for an earlier deer season start date (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee).
SB312 by Sen. Orr: To prohibit an occupational licensing board from taking adverse action against a physician who recommends certain COVID-19 treatments, to require a patient’s written, informed consent to certain COVID-19 treatments, and to require health care facilities and pharmacies to provide certain COVID-19 treatments that are not approved by the FDA (Senate Healthcare Committee).
SB313 by Sen. Orr: To prohibit any public official or public employee from expending public funds to advocate in favor of or against statewide and local ballot measures (Substituted in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
Significant floor passage this week
HB47 by Rep. K. Brown: To establish the Alabama Preneed Funeral and Cemetery Act of 2022, and transfer the regulation of preneed contracts pursuant to the Preneed Funeral and Cemetery Act from the Commissioner and the Department of Insurance to the Alabama Board of Funeral Services.
HB63 by Rep. D. Wood: To prohibit any individual or entity, other than certain public officials, from prefilling any field on a voter registration application or absentee ballot application without the voter’s consent.
HB91 by Rep. Ingram: To allow a county licensing official to enter into a contract with a third party, upon approval of the county commission, to provide materials for print-on-demand validation decals, emblems, and registration receipt forms for license plate renewals.
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.
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.
HB347 by Rep. P. Moore: To create an additional class of community development districts which would authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages within a district located in a dry county.
HB446 by Rep. Standridge: To provide that an emergency communications district shall provide a transcript of an audio recording to any individual, upon request and payment of a reasonable fee, and provide that the emergency communications district may redact identifying information of the caller or any person involved in the facts, as well as any other personal identifying or sensitive information.
HB458 by Rep. Sorrells: A proposed Constitutional Amendment that would specify that counties and municipalities are exempt from the prohibition against issuing bonds to acquire real estate for economic and industrial development without a vote of the people.
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 (Amended in House).
SB72 by Sen. Williams: To allow local boards of education and any other public educational entity that provides meals under the Child Nutrition Program of the Alabama State Department of Education, during an emergency or unanticipated event affecting public health or safety or causing supply chain disruptions, to purchase goods or services related to the program without advertisement or bidding if recommended by the State Superintendent of Education (Amended in House).
SB110 by Sen. Albritton: To provide a 4 percent 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.
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 (Amended in House – Conference Committee appointed).
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.
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.
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.
HB319 by Rep. Coleman: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the Code Commissioner, contingent upon the ratification of the Constitution of Alabama of 2022, to renumber and place ratified Constitutional Amendments, based on a logical sequence and the particular subject or topic of the amendment, and to provide for the transfer of existing annotations to any section of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to the section as it is numbered or renumbered in the Constitution of Alabama of 2022.
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.
SB207 by Sen. Singleton: To prohibit the operation of a vehicle that contains a false or secret compartment, the purpose of which is to conceal, hide, or prevent discovery of a controlled substance, contraband or a person concealed for an unlawful purpose.
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.
SB259 by Sen. Smitherman: To increase the annual barrel production limit that allows a beer manufacturer to have a financial interest in a brewpub.
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
SB302 by Sen. Marsh: To provide further for the operational and categorical county funding of public charter schools.
Bills awaiting action by the governor
HB40 by Rep. C. Brown: To exempt from the crime of possession of a gambling device, under certain limited circumstances, slot machines manufactured before 1960.
HB70 by Rep. Reynolds: To provide a statutory definition for the phrase “real and present threat of substantial harm to self and others,” and would provide that the threat of substantial harm should be assessed in light of all relevant evidence and not just the individual’s behavior.
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.
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.
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.
On the lighter side
The Peanut is only two steps away from becoming the Official State Legume of Alabama after the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave HB350 by Rep. Allen a favorable report.
If passed by the full Senate and signed by the Governor the peanut will join Marble (Official State Rock), the Wild Turkey (Official Game Bird) the Largemouth Bass (Official Fresh Water Fish), the Fighting Tarpon (Official Salt Water Fish), and Star Blue Quartz (Official Gemstone), among others, as an Official Symbol of the State of Alabama.