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State laws take effect as 2024 begins

Several new laws went into effect Monday, including one that ended the state’s tax on overtime pay.

Scissor cutting the word 'taxes' in a piece of paper.

Numerous state laws have come into effect this week as Monday marked the transition into 2024.

Several bills signed into law during the 2023 Legislative Session had implementation delayed to coincide with the changing of the calendar.

Some of the most significant changes are listed below:

State will no longer tax overtime income

Not only will working overtime earn employees extra money per hour, those wages are now free from income taxes.

The bill, authored by House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, exempts overtime pay from being considered as gross income.

“This is something that affects all workers, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, white or Black or conservative or liberal,” Daniels said. “This puts extra money into the pockets of the men and women who need it most in this state, and it does so without costing the businesses of this state a dime.”

The bill received bipartisan support in the Legislature, outside of Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, who said the break will cost the Education Trust Fund $45 million. Daniels argues that the savings will boost the economy and ultimately see those tax revenues come in other ways.

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“This is going to generate more tax dollars from folks spending this money on things they need,” Daniels said at the time. “This isn’t money that’s going into a savings account. This is money that’s going to put food on the table, help pay for a beach vacation, put gas in the tank for people.”

Law enforcement will begin training to help people with sensory needs

The Noah Cade Act by Rep. Leigh Hulsey, D-Helena, takes effect, requiring Alabama law enforcement officers to undergo training for how to work with people who have “invisible disabilities.”

The bill is named in part for Hulsey’s son, Noah, who is on the autism spectrum.

The bill would require law enforcement officers to take one hour of continuing education on how to interact with individuals with sensory issues or invisible disabilities every other year. The class would be administrated by the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission and the class would be provided by a nonprofit that specializes in such training, at no cost.

Alabama’s adoption codes gets an overhaul

The Legislature voted to completely replace the state’s existing adoption codes in favor of new language that representatives say will help streamline the process.

The code is a dense 80-page document, but some of the highlights of the improvements made include freeing up communication between different courts involved in the adoption process, providing more clarity to the application process, increasing confidentiality protections and more.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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