The Alabama Legislature met for Days 24, 25, 26 and 27 of its 2023 Regular Session this past week. 33 committee meetings were held throughout the week. The Legislature will return for Day 28 on Wednesday, May 31.
NOTABLE FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK
HB64 by Rep. Bolton: To provide that no alien who is in the U.S. unlawfully or through a non-immigrant visa provided by the federal government may own, possess, or have under his or her control a pistol or other firearms (as amended).
HB289 by Rep. Givan: To provide for circumstances and procedures to disclose or release recordings made by body-worn cameras or dashboard cameras used by law enforcement agencies, and to provide who may request disclosure or release of recordings (as amended).
HB292 by Rep. Sells: To exempt certain aircraft from ad valorem taxation (as substituted).
HB304 by Rep. Rafferty: To further provide for alcoholic beverage sales by food and beverage trucks within established entertainment districts by extending the license to municipalities in all classes (as amended).
HB429 by Rep. Kiel: To change the name of Entertainment Industry Incentive Act of 2009 to the Film and Music Incentive Act of 2023, to include music and virtual reality as qualified production companies, and to increase application of the cap on production expenses (as amended).
HB471 by Rep. Garrett: To authorize a Class 8 municipality with a population of 25,000 or more according to the last decennial census and that has a corporate limit lying in two counties to opt out of the county personnel board’s jurisdiction after six months notice, and to opt back in to the jurisdiction of the county personnel board not less than 10 years thereafter at the sole discretion of the municipality.
HB473 by Rep. Givens: To provide for the surrender of an infant to an emergency medical services probider or a hospital, to provide for the surrender of an infant in a baby safety device that meets certain requirements, and to provide for an investigation into whether a surrendered infant is a missing child (as substituted).
HB479 by Rep. Garrett: To define “food” and begin reducing the state sales and use tax on September 1, 2023, to require certain growth targets in the Education Trust Fund for future sales tax reductions on food, to establish the sales and use tax rate on food for purposes of county and municipal sales and use taxes as the existing general or retail sales and use tax rate, and to authorize a county or municipality to reduce the sales and use tax rate or exempt food from local sales and use taxes (as amended).
HB501 by Rep. Ingram: To remove any limitations on a district attorney’s authority to hire personnel based on the residency of any current or potential personnel.
SB17 by Sen. Butler: To provide that all references to the United States Armed Forces shall include the United States Space Force.
SB39 by Sen. Givhan To create additional Circuit and District judgeships throughout the state to be filled in the 2024 and 2026 election cycles, and to standardize the compilation of statistical data.
SB71 by Sen. Williams: To provide counties and cities with alternative virtual or electronic methods for the posting of certain public notices required by law (as amended).
SB85 by Sen. Orr: To provide for a pay increase of 2 percentfor public education employees for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
SB86 by Sen. Orr: To provide a one-time payment to each qualified taxpayer and provide that it shall not be taxable for Alabama income tax purposes (as substituted by Conference Committee Report and adopted by both Houses).
SB87 by Sen. Orr To make supplemental, one-time appropriations of $2,787,667,309 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023 (assubstituted by Conference Committee Report and adopted by both Houses).
SB88 by Sen. Orr: Education Budget (as substituted by Conference Committee Report and adopted by both Houses).
SB159 by Sen. Scofield: To establish certain conditions under which a contractor who performs work on a road, bridge, highway, or street shall be granted limited civil immunity.
SB269 by Sen. Orr: To establish the K-12 Capital Grant Program within the Office of the Lt. Governor to provide grants to local schools to assist with capital project, deferred maintenance, or technology needs (as amended).
SB278 by Rep. Waggoner: To create the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program to be administered by the State Treasurer for the purpose of providing loans to eligible higher education institutions who are experiencing financial hardship (as amended).
HB124 by Rep. Reynolds: General Fund Budget (as substituted by Conference Committee Report and adopted by both Houses).
HB125 by Rep. Reynolds: To make supplemental appropriations from the State General Fund to various agencies (as substituted by Conference Committee Report and adopted by both Houses).
HB126 by Rep. South: To create the Medicaid Emergency Reserve Fund and to provide for the use of amounts deposited into the fund.
HB154 by Rep. Bracy: To provide a cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2023.
HB287 by Rep. Stringer: To create the crime of doxing, intentionally electronically publishing personal identifying information of another individual (as amended).
HB356 by Rep. Hulsey: To require the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission to collaborate with a nonprofit company to provide annual training about interacting with individuals with sensory needs or invisible disabilities.
HB358 by Rep. Shaver: To establish a new classification of a criminal offense as a boating violation, to reclassify various misdemeanor boating offenses as boating violations, and to establish that the penalty for a boating violation would be similar to a penalty for a traffic infraction.
HB364 by Rep. Hurst: To require a public K-12 school, a local board of education, and certain event organizers to accept certain forms of payment for admission to certain school-sponsored events.
HB378 by Rep. Brown: To provide potentially responsible parties with limitations of liability with respect to a brownfield site and to provide for the creation of brownfield redevelopment districts.
HB455 by Rep. Standridge: To create the Rural and Community Fire Protection Advisory Committee to support and recommend to the State Forester methods to improve rural and community fire protection in this state.
SB105 by Sen. Coleman-Madison: To require the State Health Officer to issue an advisory regarding the consumption of fish when deemed appropriate, and to require the Department of Environmental Management to regularly evaluate fish species for pollutants (as substituted).
SB143 by Sen. Barfoot: To identify criminal enterprise members and enhance penalties for criminal enterprise related criminal activities.
SB214 by Sen. Weaver: To confirm that centralized motor vehicle registration is specifically prohibited and that motor vehicle registration shall remain at the county level with no centralized motor vehicle registration system provided by any state agency (as substituted).
SB263 by Sen. Chesteen: To change the terms failing school and nonfailing school to priority school and qualifying school, respectively, to revise or add definitions relating to educational service providers, poverty threshold for eligible students, eligible students with unique needs, qualifying expenses for those students, private tutoring, resident school district, and expand scholarships for eligible students attending priority or qualifying schools (as amended).
SB291 by Sen. Coleman: To exempt the purchase of computer programs, software applications, and contracts for the purchase of equipment and services to aid in the prevention and detection of criminal activity by law enforcement agencies from the competitive bidding requirement (as amended).
SB301 by Sen. Waggoner: To further provide prohibitions against the use of a wireless telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle and provide additional clarifications and exceptions on the prohibition (as substituted).
SB313 by Sen. Butler: To require the Department of Economic and Community Affairs to oversee the design, construction, and installation of a replica Saturn 1B Rocket, if the original rocket is beyond restoration or repair, at the most northern I-65 rest stop in the state.
SB316 by Sen. Figures: To further provide prohibitions on the possession of an electronic nicotine delivery system by individuals under 21 years of age (as amended).
SB320 by Sen. Bell: To require law enforcement agencies to collect fingerprints and DNA from any illegal alien in the agency’s custody and submit the fingerprints and DNA for testing or cataloging (as amended).
SB330 by Sen. Roberts: To prohibit governmental agencies from using Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as payment and from participating in testing the use of CBDC by any Federal Reserve branch (as amended).
SB342 by Sen. Barfoot: To remove any limitations on a district attorney’s authority to hire personnel based on the residency of any current or potential personnel.
NOTABLE COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK
HB269 by Rep. Collins: To provide a uniform statewide system of procedural due process protections relating to the suspension and expulsion of public school students for violating the student code of conduct or state law (Substituted in House Education Policy Committee).
HB354 by Rep. Butler: To prohibit classroom instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in public K-12 schools at certain grade levels and in any grade level in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate (Public hearing but no vote in House Education Policy Committee).
HB405 by Rep. DuBose: The “What is a Woman Act” to define the terms female, male, woman, girl, man, boy, mother, father, equal, and separate, to require governmental agencies that collect vital statistics for certain purposes to identify each individual as either male or female at birth, and to provide that an individual born with a medically verifiable diagnosis of “disorder or difference in sex development” be provided legal protections and accommodations afforded under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (Substituted in House Health Committee).
HB457 by Rep. D. Wood: To require the canvassing board of each county to conduct a post-election audit of one randomly selected race in one randomly selected precinct after each county and statewide general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported results of the election (Substituted in House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections Committee).
HB502 by Rep. Fidler: To provide for the placement of a uniform system of navigational markers on the waters of this state and require the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency to provide general oversight and maintenance of permitted navigational markers on the waters of this state (House Ports, Waterways and Intermodal Transit Committee).
SB64 by Sen. Singleton: To allow an individual 75 years of age or older to be excused from jury service on the basis or his or her age and, upon the individual’s request, to be permanently exempt from jury service (as amended).
SB163 by Sen. Williams: To authorize a county, municipality, or governmental entity subject to a countywide civil service system as defined and established by a local law to elect by a majority vote of the governing body of the county, municipality, or governmental entity to be exempt from the countywide civil service system for the recruitment and hiring of all employees (Public hearing but no vote in House County and Municipal Government Committee).
SB223 by Sen. Figures: To include a child witness in the definition of “a physical offense, sexual offense, or violent offense” for the purpose of the Child Physical and Sexual Abuse Victim Protection Act (House Judiciary Committee).
SB224 by Sen. Figures: To clarify that for the purpose of the crime of transmitting obscene material to a child, a child is a person who is under 16 years of age, and to provide that a violation of incest when the victim is under 16 years of age is a Class A felony (House Judiciary Committee).
SB261 by Sen. Roberts: To prohibit a governmental entity from entering into a public contract for goods or services with certain companies or businesses that engage in the economic boycott of businesses in certain sectors and industries, that fail to meet or commit to meet certain environmental standards, that fail to meet or commit to meet certain corporate governance criteria, or that fail to facilitate certain activities (House Financial Services Committee).
SB266 by Sen. Beasley: To reduce the minimum time period for which Alabama licenses may be issued to a foreign national (House Agriculture and Forestry Committee).
SB281 by Sen. Albritton: To allow former and current chairs of the USS Alabama Battleship Commission to use the USS Alabama Distinctive license plate (House State Government Committee).
SB290 by Sen. Givhan: To increase the threshold amount on contracts for public works from $50,000 to $100,000, authorize an additional increase based on increases in the Consumer Price Index, authorize the use of electronic means to provide certain required notices, and authorize the use of electronic sealed bids (House State Government Committee).
SB309 by Sen. Chambliss: To require state entities procuring the professional services of architects, landscape architects, engineers, land surveyors, geoscientists, and other similar professionals to procure the contracts based on a qualification-based selection process (House State Government Committee).
HB168 by Rep. Underwood: To increase various threshold dollar amounts for which competitive bidding is generally required and to authorize those dollar amounts to be further increased based on increases in the Consumer Price Index (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee).
HB209 by Rep. Kiel: To prohibit any person from distributing, ordering, requesting, collecting, completing, obtaining or delivering an absentee ballot application or absentee ballot of another person with exceptions (Amended in Senate State Governmental Affairs Committee).
HB319 by Rep. Drummond: To revise the definition of “electronic nicotine delivery system” to include substances other than tobacco and prohibit the distribution of tobacco, tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, e-liquids, and alternative nicotine products through vending machine (Amended in Senate Judiciary).
HB339 by Rep. Pringle: To provide that only during the 2024 election cycle, the runoff primary election would be held six weeks after the primary election, instead of the usual 4 weeks, as the 4 week date would place the runoff primary election 2 days after Easter (Senate County and Municipal Government Committee).
HB392 by Rep. Almond: To further provide for the list of persons prohibited from possessing a firearm (Substituted in Senate Judiciary Committee).
HB432 by Rep. Smith: To reduce the minimum time period for which Alabama licenses may be issued to a foreign national (Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee).
HB473 by Rep. Givens: To provide for the surrender of an infant to an emergency medical services probider or a hospital, to provide for the surrender of an infant in a baby safety device that meets certain requirements, and to provide for an investigation into whether a surrendered infant is a missing child (Senate Veterans and Military Committee).
HB363 by Rep. Collins: To change the appointment process for the Alabama Public Charter School Commission, require commissioners to receive annual training, provide additional guidelines for the authorizing and application review process, provide further for the operational and categorical funding of public charter schools in their first year of operation, clarify that conversion public charter schools receive the full per pupil federal, state, and local revenue intended to support the conversion public charter school and its educational responsibilities to students (Senate Education Policy Committee).
SB232 by Sen. Elliott: To authorize peer-to-peer car sharing programs, to enable the sharing of vehicles for financial consideration, and to provide requirements for the operation of a peer-to-peer car sharing program (Senate Finance and Taxation Committee).
SB308 by Rep. Elliott: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow the Legislature to request the convening of a special session if a majority of members of both houses vote to do so (Public hearing but no vote in Senate County and Municipal Government Committee).
SB339 by Sen. Sessions: To provide for the placement of a uniform system of navigational markers on the waters of this state and require the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency to provide general oversight and maintenance of permitted navigational markers (Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee).
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
HB421 by Rep. Ingram: The Senate passed a House bill, suggested by Trinity School students, that would designate the “Yellowhammer Cookie” as the Official State Cookie. The “Yellowhammer Cookie,”which originated in Montgomery, prominently features peanuts (the Official State Legume) and pecans (the Official State Nut). Other state symbols include the Queen Honeybee as the Official State Agricultural Insect, the Red Hills Salamander as the Official State Amphibian, and the Peach as the Official State Tree Fruit.