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Legislature

Alabama 2024 Legislative Report: Week Three

The Legislature will return to begin its 10th legislative day (out of 30) on Tuesday.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery.
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The Alabama Legislature met for days 7, 8, and 9 in the third week of the 2024 Regular Session. 23 committee meetings were held throughout the week. The Legislature will return to begin its 10th legislative day  (out of 30) on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 2 p.m.

DURING THE WEEK 

The Senate spent a good deal of time debating SB129 by Senator Will Barfoot which would prohibit governmental institutions (state agencies, public schools and colleges) from funding any diversity, equity, and inclusion office, or sponsoring programs relating to these concepts. Additionally, the bill prohibits higher education institutions from allowing individuals to use a restroom that is different from their biological sex. After the debate, the Senate passed the amended bill which now goes to the House. 

HB225 by Representative Anthony Daniels was introduced in the House, in reaction to the Alabama Supreme Court decision, that would provide that any fertilized human egg or embryo outside of a uterus is not considered an unborn child for any purpose under state law. It is anticipated that Senator Tim Melson will introduce a similar bill in the Senate. 

Public Hearings were held on legislation sponsored by Senator April Weaver (SB92) and Representative Susan DuBose (HB111) that would add definitions for terms such as man, woman, girl, boy, father, and mother to the state code. The Senate bill was reported favorably from the Senate County and Municipal Government Committee and the House bill is still pending in the House Judiciary Committee. 

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave favorable reports to a number of Sunset bills to continue certain state agencies and boards, including the Alabama Athletic Commission, the Public Service Commission, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the Alabama Real Estate Commission, the Alabama Board of Funeral Services, the Statewide 911 Board, and the Alabama Board of Cosmetology. 

NOTABLE FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK 

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HOUSE FLOOR 

HB10 by Rep. Pringle: To provide that when a person sells or otherwise distributes a controlled substance containing fentanyl, or any mixture containing fentanyl, in violation of the law and death results from the use of the controlled substance, the person is guilty of manslaughter (as amended). 

HB42 by Rep. Givens: To provide that if the victim of human trafficking is a minor, the defendant shall be sentenced to a minimum of life imprisonment (as amended). 

HB54 by Rep. Bedsole: To provide compensation to the survivors of a volunteer firefighter who dies of work-related cancer by making them eligible for the death benefit awarded by the State Board of Adjustment for first responders who die in the line of duty. 

HB55 by Rep. Bolton: To create the Alabama Squat Truck Law and provide prohibitions on the alteration of a motor vehicle in such a manner that the height of the front fender is raised four or more inches greater than the height of the accompanying rear fender (as amended). 

HB87 by Rep. Brown: To authorize an airport authority to form any necessary legal business entity or venture relating to airport operations and conduct any activities required for the operation of the authority. 

HB121 by Rep. Carns: To provide that a supervisor may not take any adverse employment action against a county or municipal employee who reports a violation of law or rule to a public body (as amended). 

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HB171 by Rep. Sells: To exempt certain aircraft from ad valorem taxation (as amended). 

SB63 by Sen. Carnley: To provide that a county commission is not liable for and may not be a party to a suit challenging the expenditure or use of public funds where a local law provides that the public funds are to be expended or used at the discretion of a single public official (House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SENATE FLOOR 

SB129 by Sen. Barfoot: To prohibit certain public entities from maintaining diversity, equity, and inclusion officers and from sponsoring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, to prohibit the promotion, endorsement, and affirmation of certain divisive concepts in certain public settings, and to require public institutions of higher education to designate restrooms on the basis of biological sex (as amended). 

NOTABLE COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE COMMITTEES 

HB36 by Rep. Ensler: To prohibit individuals from possessing any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into a machine gun (Substituted in House Judiciary Committee). 

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HB66 by Rep. Brown: To require food service establishments to notify consumers of the country of origin of seafood products, use the correct common name of seafood products, and notify consumers as to whether fish or shrimp are farm-raised or wild (Substituted in House Ports, Waterways and Intermodal Transit Committee). 

HB101 by Rep. Clarke: To include additional items that are considered election expenses that must be reimbursed to counties by the state (Amended in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB111 by Rep. DuBose: To define man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex for purposes of state law, to provide policy on the differences between sexes, to provide that state and local public entities may establish separate single-sex spaces or environments in certain circumstances, and require the state or political subdivisions that collect vital statistics related to sex as male or female for certain purposes to identify each individual as either male or female at birth (Public Hearing but no vote in House Judiciary Committee). 

HB126 by Rep. Hulsey: To require fire-protection personnel, certified volunteer firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel to undergo annual training on interacting with individuals with sensory needs or invisible disabilities (House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

HB129 by Rep. Garrett: To create the CHOOSE Act to establish a refundable income tax credit to offset the cost of qualifying educational expenses, to direct the Department of Revenue to establish education savings accounts through which parents can access funds to direct the education of participating students, and to establish program requirements for parents of participating students, education service providers and participating schools (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB180 by Rep. Shirey: To increase the compensation for election workers in Mobile County and authorizing the appointment and compensation of computer technical assistants (Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

SB10 by Sen. Elliott: To provide that library board members shall serve at the pleasure of their respective appointing authorities (Amended in House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

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SENATE COMMITTEES 

SB51 by Sen. Allen: To require a controlling governmental entity that replaces a memorial building to maintain the original name or erect a marker memorializing the name, provide that a petition for waiver is deemed denied if the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection fails to act on an application for waiver within 90 days, and revise penalties for violations (Public Hearing and Carried Over in Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB92 by Sen. Weaver: To define man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex for purposes of state law, to provide policy on the differences between sexes, to provide that state and local public entities may establish separate single-sex spaces or environments in certain circumstances, and require the state or political subdivisions that collect vital statistics related to sex as male or female for certain purposes to identify each individual as either male or female at birth (Amended in Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB98 by Sen. Orr: To establish the School Security Program within the State Department of Education, require periodic inspections of school facilities at public K-12 schools, and to provide criteria for school security inspections (Amended in Senate Education Policy Committee). 

SB105 by Sen. Singleton: To include members of any FEMA-certified community emergency response team within the list of persons protected from civil liability for rendering emergency care at the scene of an accident or disaster (Substituted in Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB108 by Sen. Orr: To invalidate any driver license of a nonresident driving a motor vehicle in this state, issued in another state, if the license is of any class of licenses issued exclusively to undocumented immigrants unable to prove lawful presence in the United States (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

NOTABLE INTRODUCTIONS 

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HOUSE 

HB189 by Rep. Pringle: To establish the State Transportation Commission, to provide for the members, duties responsibilities, and compensation and expenses of the commission, and to provide for the appointment and duites of the Director of the State Department of Transportation (Assigned to House State Government Committee). 

HB194 by Rep. Pettus: To provide that purchases made by volunteer fire departments and rescue squads are excepted from the requirements of the state procurement code and are instead subject to the local competitive bid law requirements (Assigned to House State Government Committee). 

HB195 by Rep. DuBose: To require that any sex education or human reproductive curriculum or program in a public K-12 school exclusively teach sexual risk avoidance and encourage the avoidance of any nonmarital sexual activity, prohibit any sex education or human reproductive curriculum or program from supporting, demonstrating, or providing a referral to or information about how to acquire an abortion, from demonstrating the use of or providing distribution information regarding contraceptives, and from using graphic materials that are sexually explicit, normalize teenage sexual activity, or promote or encourage nonmarital sexual activity, and would provide each parent or guardian with the ability to opt his or her child out of the curriculum or program (Assigned to House Education Policy Committee). 

HB196 by Rep. Ingram: To authorize the Land Commissioner to contract with an online auction company to sell tax-delinquent property in the state’s inventory which has passed the three-year administrative redemption period (Assigned to House State Government). 

HB198 by Rep. Brown: To create the Alabama Residential Building Code Advisory Council to recommend an Alabama Residential Building Code, to be based upon the International Residential Code and the residential chapters of the International Energy Conservation Code, to be adopted by the Home Builders Licensure Board, require counties and municipalities that enforce residential building laws or codes, when adopting new codes or amending existing codes, to adopt or amend the codes in accordance with the minimum standards set by the Alabama Residential Building Code, and would require residential home builders in this state to build, renovate, and repair residences in accordance with the minimum standards set by the Alabama Residential Building Code (Assigned to House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

HB201 by Rep. Clouse: To establish a procedure for the funding of benefit increases provided to retirees under the Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Retirement System by requiring the actual annual cost to be identified and provided for in the annual State General Fund appropriation act and the Education Trust Fund appropriation act (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

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HB205 by Rep. Chestnut: To prohibit retail establishments from requiring customers to make purchases with credit rather than with legal tender, and to require retail establishments to extend store credit in the amount of change due to the customer when the establishment is experiencing a cash or coin shortage (Assigned to House Commerce and Small Business Committee). 

HB216 by Rep. Treadaway To require each local board of education and the governing body of each charter school to provide each classroom with silent panic alert technology and provide training to certain school employees on the technology (Assigned to House Education Policy Committee). 

HB224 by Rep. Drummond: To provide a criminal penalty for a parent or legal guardian that does not reasonably secure their firearm which results in their minor unlawfully possessing the firearm on the premises of a public school (Assigned to House Judiciary Committee). 

HB225 by Rep. Daniels: To provide that any fertilized human egg or human embryo that exists outside of a human uterus is not considered an unborn child or human being for any purpose under state law (Assigned to House Judiciary Committee). 

HB227 by Rep. Simpson: To revise the crime of bribery, add a new crime of using public office for pecuniary gain to the criminal code, repeal and replace the existing code of ethics, revise the duties and powers of the State Ethics Commission, provide a mechanism for the removal of the director of the State Ethics Commission, authorize the commission to impose private warnings, public reprimands, civil penalties, and restitution for violations of the ethics code or Fair Campaign Practices Act, prohibit a state legislator from sponsoring or voting on legislation that could lead to a conflict of interest, and prohibit certain entities seeking to influence official action from giving gifts to certain public servants (Assigned to House Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee). 

SENATE 

SB128 by Senator Melson: To abolish the State Board of Health and confer all duties and authorities to the State Committee of Public Health (Assigned to Senate Healthcare Committee). 

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SB152 by Sen. Sessions: To provide that the State Pilotage Commission in a Class 2 municipality has the sole authority to regulate maritime data for use in the pilotage of ships and watercraft in Mobile Bay (Assigned to Senate Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

SB154 by Sen. Albritton: To authorize the county commission of a Category 1 or Category 2 county to increase the salary of the sheriff effective beginning the next term of office under certain conditions (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

BUDGETS 

SPONSOR SUBJECT STATUS 

HB134 Rep. Reynolds: General Fund Budget Pending in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.

SB67 Sen. Albritton: General Fund Budget Pending in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

HB144 Rep. Garrett: Education Trust Fund Budget Pending in House Ways and Means Education Committee.

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SB75 Sen. Orr: Education Trust Fund Budget Pending in Senate Finance and Taxation Education.

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