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Legislature

Alabama 2023 Legislative Report: Sine Die

There were a number of bills passed in the last five days of the Session.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.
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The Alabama Legislature met for its 30th and final Legislative day of the 2023 Regular Session on Tuesday, June 6th, 2023. They adjourned Sine Die after passing a number of bills, concurring in amendments from the opposite house, holding conference committees to resolve the differences between the two Houses, and receiving Executive Amendments from the Governor. 

Absent a Special Session which may be needed for Congressional Redistricting, the Legislature will convene for its 2024 Regular Session on Tuesday, February 6, 2024. 

There were a number of bills passed in the last five days of the Session. These bills must be signed by the Governor within 10 days of adjournment or they receive a Pocket Veto. 

The House brought back a long-standing tradition of awarding the “Shroud Award” to the deadest bill of the Session. This year’s recipient was House Speaker Pro Temp Chris Pringle for the failed substitute to his bill (HB339) that would have moved the primary run-off election, for every election, to 6 weeks after the primary. The substitute received a resounding rejection. The original bill, which was ultimately adopted, only moved the run-off to 6 weeks for the 2024 election. Speaker Pro Temp Pringle humorously and graciously received the award, and, amid much laughter, reminded the members that because of this honor he gets to pick next year’s winner. 

NOTABLE BILLS THAT RECEIVED FINAL PASSAGE ON THE FINAL DAY 

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. 

HB217 by Rep. Daniels: To exclude work performed in excess of 40 hours in any week from being included in the calculation of gross income for tax purposes beginning January 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2025 (Act 2023-421). 

HB253 by Rep. Clarke: To allow Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits to be tied to the year in which the reservation is allocated, to increase by $5 million the amount for the credits, to further provide certain age restrictions for structures to qualify for tax credits, to provide for additional rehabilitation credit allocations, and to further provide for the membership of the Historic Tax Credit Evaluating Committee and the factors considered by the committee. 

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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. 

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. 

SB103 by Sen. Orr: To require the State Ethics Commission to provide an alleged violator with certain exculpatory evidence. 

SB213 by Sen. Sessions: Relating to the Alabama Bail Reform Act of 1993, to provide for acceptance of certain filing fees, to further define cash bail and property bail, to provide further for the arrest and delivery of a defendant, to provide for corporate bonds and to provide further for instances when a court may set aside forfeiture on judicial public bail. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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NOTABLE BILLS THAT FAILED IN THIS SESSION 

HB22 by Rep. Brown: To authorize any municipality or governmental entity subject to certain countywide civil service systems to elect by a majority vote of the governing body to opt out of the countywide civil service system. 

HB7 by Rep. Oliver: To prohibit certain public entities, including state agencies, local boards of education, and public institutions of higher education, from promoting or endorsing, or requiring affirmation of, certain divisive concepts relating to race, sex, or religion. 

HB123 by Rep. Drummond: To provide a criminal penalty for a parent or legal guardian who fails to reasonably secure their firearm resulting in their minor unlawfully possessing the firearm on the premises of a public school. 

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. 

HB234 by Rep. R. Wood: To prohibit the possession and use of a trigger activator and provide criminal penalties for a violation, and to further provide for the duties of a law enforcement officer during an investigatory stop involving a firearm. 

HB298 by Rep. Sells: To require certain manufacturers of Internet enabled devices to activate existing filters to restrict access to certain material that may be harmful to minors. 

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. 

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HB323 by Rep. Pettus: To require certain benefits be provided to first responders who suffer from work-related PTSD, including reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket treatment expenses and paid time off for employed first responders for treatment. 

HB375 by Rep. Simpson: To exempt the purchase of gun safes and gun safety devices from sales and use tax. 

HB392 by Rep. Almond: To further provide for the list of persons prohibited from possessing a firearm. 

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. 

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. 

HB459 by Rep. Rafferty: 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. 

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. 

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SB65 by Sen. Jones: To incrementally reduce any occupational license tax levied by a municipality greater than one percent based on an annual reduction in the percent of the tax until the tax would be one percent, to provide that any occupational license tax levied by any municipality would not apply to any person performing an occupation in the police jurisdiction of the municipality or on any property annexed into the municipality after January 1, 2023, and to prohibit any municipality from levying a new occupational license tax or increasing any existing occupational license tax. 

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. 

SB169 by Sen. Allen: To allow any business paying a municipal business license based on gross receipts to deduct from gross receipts any excise tax on motor fuels imposed by the federal, state, and local governments. 

SB196 by Sen. Orr: To establish procedures for requesting and obtaining public records. 

SB199 by Sen. Orr: To prohibit a person from picketing or protesting at or near the residence of any individual with the intent to harass or intimidate. 

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. 

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. 

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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. 

SB321 by Sen. Singleton: To define a new category of low-alcohol content liquor beverages called mixed spirit beverages, to levy taxes upon the distributions of these beverages, and to provide for licensure of retailers of mixed spirit beverages. 

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