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Legislature

Alabama 2024 Legislative Report: Week Seven

The Legislature will return to begin its 20th legislative day out of 30 on April 9.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.
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The Alabama Legislature met for days 18 and 19 in the seventh week of the 2024 Regular Session. 30 committee meetings were held throughout the week. The Legislature will return to begin its 20th legislative day (out of 30) on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 with the both Houses convening at 2 p.m. 

DURING THE WEEK 

The House non-concurred in the Senate versions of HB151 and HB152 by Representative Chris Blackshear which address gaming in Alabama, and appointed a Conference Committee to work to resolve the differences between the two versions. Appointed to serve by the House are Representatives Chris Blackshear, Andy Whitt and Sam Jones as the conferees. The bills now return to the Senate for potential action. 

The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee substituted and gave a favorable report to the General Fund budget (SB67 – $3,364,409,234) and the supplemental appropriations bill (SB66 – $210,827,369) for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2024. The House Ways and Means Education Committee met to consider the Education Trust Fund budget but did not vote. 

Several of the “Working for Alabama” bills aimed at increasing workforce and economic development were heard in various committees this week. A synopsis of the bills can be found under “Notable Committee Action This Week” and have been highlighted for easy identification. 

NOTABLE FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE FLOOR 

HB8 by Rep. Brown: To require insurers to provide at least 90 days written notice of a property insurance policy cancellation, nonrenewal, or coverage restriction (As substituted). 

HB83 by Rep. Estes: To increase the compensation amount that members of local boards of education are eligible to receive up to $900 per month. 

HB102 by Rep. DuBose: To eliminate the eligibility to work form currently required of individuals under the age of 16 (As substituted and amended). 

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HB166 by Rep. Hill: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the Legislature to set and alter the compensation of county officers and sheriffs by general or local law, and to prohibit the Legislature from altering the compensation of a county officer or sheriff during the term of office. 

HB167 by Rep. Sells: To require manufacturers of certain Internet-enabled devices, manufactured on or after January 1, 2025, to contain a filter that is activated if the user is a minor, and only allow a user with a password to deactivate or reactivate the filter. 

HB182 by Rep. Lipscomb: To provide a method for the owner of a dwelling, or his or her agent, to request the removal of an unauthorized individual from the dwelling by providing a sworn affidavit to a law enforcement officer, and require a law enforcement officer to remove an unauthorized individual from a dwelling within 24 hours of receipt of a sworn affidavit (As substituted). 

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 (As amended). 

HB215 by Rep. Fidler: To provide that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources may permit a residential coastal riparian owner to dredge sediment from within their riparian area for the construction of a living shoreline (As amended). 

HB220 by Rep. Ellis: To establish the Alabama Tourism Tax Protection Act of 2024, to provide that an accommodations intermediary shall collect the tax imposed on the charge for such room, rooms, lodgings, or accommodations, including the charge for use or rental of personal property and services furnished in such room (As substituted). 

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 (As substituted and amended). 

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HB270 by Rep. Sells: To provide that an owner who is unable to redeem his or her property or the tax lien certificate would have an opportunity to receive the difference between the amount owed to the government and the value of their property as reflected by the property’s sale price (As amended). 

SB95 by Sen. Figures: To specify that an individual under 21 years of age commits a violation for the possession of an electronic nicotine delivery system or other electronic battery-powered device capable of producing a vapor upon inhalation, without regard to which particular e-liquid or other substance, if any, was contained or otherwise used in the device. 

SENATE FLOOR 

SB9 by Sen. Coleman-Madison: To authorize a Class 1 municipality (Birmingham) to petition for judicial in rem foreclosure of municipal code enforcement and nuisance abatement liens on property that is not owner-occupied, and to recover the amount of unpaid municipal code and nuisance abatement liens and the cost of municipal code enforcement upon the court-ordered sale of property that is not owner-occupied (As amended). 

SB35 by Sen. Smitherman: To require social studies and history instruction in public K-12 schools to be fact-based, historically accurate, and inclusive. 

SB150 by Sen. Gudger: To provide that an accommodations intermediary shall collect the tax imposed on the charge for rooms, lodgings or accommodations, including the charge for use or rental of personal property and services furnished in a room (As substituted). 

SB154 by Sen. Albritton: To authorize the county commission of a Category 2 or Category 3 county to increase the salary of the sheriff effective beginning the next term of office under certain conditions (As amended). 

SB155 by Sen. Chambliss: To transfer the responsibility for the annual report that details the total amount of local motor fuel excise tax revenues collected by counties or municipalities and the total amount of the revenues expended on road and bridge maintenance and improvement from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Revenue. 

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SB199 by Sen. Albritton: To extend the quarterly assessment paid by emergency medical transport providers to provide additional Medicaid enhancement payments for maintenance and expansion of emergency medical transport services through the fiscal quarter starting July 1, 2025. 

SB204 by Sen. Sessions: To remove the requirement that corporations authorized to transact business in the state provide an annual report to the Secretary of State (As amended). 

NOTABLE COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE COMMITTEES 

HB100 by Rep. Clarke: To establish increased penalties for a crime committed against an election official that is motivated by an individual’s role as an election official, and establish that a felony committed against an election official which is motivated by an individual’s role as an election official is a crime of moral turpitude (Amended in House Judiciary Committee). 

HB259 by Rep. D. Wood: To require the judge of probate of each county to conduct a post-election audit after every county and statewide general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported results of the election (Substituted in House Ways and General Fund Committee). 

HB335 by Rep. Hill: To provide for the time a public tax lien auction may be held, to further provide for fees, further provide for who may redeen a tax lien that has been auctioned or sold, and would prevent a holder of a tax lien certificate from being criminally or civilly liable for violations in certain circumstances (Amended in House Judiciary Committee). 

HB337 by Rep. Lomax: To include county public building authorities that contract for the purchase or construction of certain plants, buildings, or other facilities designed for industrial development in the exemption for certain competitive bidding requirements (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

HB344 by Rep. Garrett: To rename the Alabama Department of Labor to the Alabama Department of Workforce, to change the title of the head of the department from Secretary of Labor to Secretary of Workforce, to further provide for the duties and responsibilities of the secretary, to transfer certain state and federal workforce programs, staff, and assets from the Department of Commerce to the department, to establish seven regional workforce boards, add responsibilities to the new Department, and further provide for the responsibilities of the Department of Commerce and the Alabama Industrial Development and Training Institute (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

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HB349 by Rep. Lomax: To authorize counties and municipalities to authorize the incorporation of an innovation district within the county or municipality as a public corporation for the purpose of undertaking activities or acquiring property by the district, and using public revenues for the establishment, benefit, or support of qualified enterprises, as designated by the Department of Commerce, through public revenues (Public Hearing and substituted in House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

HB359 by Rep. Bedsole: To provide for the commitment of respondents who meet the criteria for involuntary commitment to the custody of the Alabama Department of Mental Health to include individuals suffering from a substance use disorder that occurs secondarily to a primary diagnosis of one or more mental illnesses (Amended in House Judiciary Committee). 

HB368 by Rep. Rafferty: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow the Legislature to authorize the state and political subdivisions of the state, without an election, to provide for use of public funds, revenues, property, and services to, or for the benefit of, innovation districts, and to allow the Legislature to authorize innovation districts to provide any public funds, revenues, or property of or under the control of innovation districts to, or for the benefit of, any public or private person or entity (Substituted in House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

HB372 by Rep. Shedd: To create the Alabama Growth Alliance, a public corporation governed by a board of public and private leaders, to provide input and support for the creation and maintenance of the state’s long-range economic development strategy, annual objectives, and key tactics to achieve the long-range strategies (House Economic Development and Tourism Committee). 

SB59 by Sen. Orr: To require each high school student to receive instruction in his or her health class on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (House Education Policy Committee). 

SB161 by Sen. Beasley: To authorize sheriffs to conduct fundraising events within their respective counties, and to provide for the proceeds of a fundraising event to support the operations of their respective offices (House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB168 by Sen. Weaver: To amend the commercial development authority law to further define a project to include a single commercial enterprise (House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

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SENATE COMMITTEES 

HB65 by Rep. Drummond: To revise the definition of “electronic nicotine delivery system” to include battery powered devices that deliver substances other than tobacco through the inhalation of vapor, to prohibit the distribution through a vending machine, and to require a one-time application fee and an annual permit fee for the distribution of those products (Amended in Senate Children, Youth and Human Services Committee). 

HB230 by Rep. Wilcox: To remove the requirement that corporations authorized to transact business in the state provide an annual report to the Secretary of State (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

HB233 by Rep. Sorrells: To require every off-road vehicle manufactured on or after January 1, 2026 to receive a certificate of title at the time of purchase, require dealers of off-road vehicles to obtain a master dealer license, and authorize the dealer to issue certificates of title for off-road vehicles (Senate Transportation and Energy Committee). 

HB275 by Rep. Almond: To further provide for the membership of voluntary indigent defense advisory boards, the board’s review process, and provide that indigent defense attorneys are compensated based on the level of the original criminal charge, and to revise the total compensation caps for indigent defense attorneys (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

SB66 by Sen. Albritton: General Fund Budget ($3,364,409,234) 

SB67 by Sen. Albritton: Supplemental appropriations from the General Fund ($210,827,369) 

SB68 by Sen. Albritton: To provide a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2024 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

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SB224 by Sen. Elliott: To establish the Office of Occupational and Professional Licensing within the Department of Labor to serve as a centralized entity providing leadership, support, and oversight to certain professional or occupational licensing boards operating within the state (Amended in Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB226 by Sen. Allen: To authorize motor vehicles that are equipped with an automated driving system, which is defined as hardware and software that performs the entire dynamic driving task on a sustained basis, to be operated on the public roads of this state under certain conditions (Amended in Senate Transportation and Energy Committee). 

SB231 by Sen. Orr: To condition an employer’s eligibility for economic development incentives upon the employer refraining from certain practices relating to employee representation by a labor organization (Public Hearing and amended in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

SB240 by Sen. Barfoot: To provide for the commitment of respondents who meet the criteria for involuntary commitment to the custody of the Alabama Department of Mental Health to include individuals suffering from a substance use disorder that occurs secondarily to a primary diagnosis of one or more mental illnesses (Amended in Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB242 by Sen. Singleton: To authorize counties and municipalities to authorize the incorporation of an innovation district within the county or municipality as a public corporation for the purpose of undertaking activities or acquiring property by the district, and using public revenues for the establishment, benefit, or support of qualified enterprises, as designated by the Department of Commerce, through public revenues (Substituted in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Development Committee). 

SB243 by Sen. Roberts: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow the Legislature to authorize the state and political subdivisions of the state, without an election, to provide for use of public funds, revenues, property, and services to, or for the benefit of, innovation districts, and to allow the Legislature to authorize innovation districts to provide any public funds, revenues, or property of or under the control of innovation districts to, or for the benefit of, any public or private person or entity (Substituted in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Development Committee). 

SB246 by Sen. Orr: To clarify that a parent or guardian’s written declaration is sufficient documentation to exempt his or her child from a public K-12 school vaccine requirement for religious reasons, and that, if a public institution of higher education requires students to be vaccinated or tested for a disease, that a student may be exempt for medical reasons or because he or she objects for religious reasons (Senate Education Policy Committee). 

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SB247 by Sen. Livingston: To rename the Alabama Department of Labor to the Alabama Department of Workforce, to change the title of the head of the department from Secretary of Labor to Secretary of Workforce, to further provide for the duties and responsibilities of the secretary, to transfer certain state and federal workforce programs, staff, and assets from the Department of Commerce to the department, to establish seven regional workforce boards, add responsibilities to the new Department, and further provide for the responsibilities of the Department of Commerce and the Alabama Industrial Development and Training Institute (Amended in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

SB252 by Sen. Reed: To establish the Alabama Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act to authorize and provide a tax credit for qualified taxpayers owning an interest in a qualified workforce housing project located in the State of Alabama (Amended in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

SB253 by Sen. Chesteen: To establish the Alabama Workforce Pathways Act which would provide different pathways towards earning a high school diploma based on the further workforce or continuing education plans of the student, provide, subject to funding, for the upgrade or additional construction of career and technical education centers throughout the state, and provide, subject to funding, for the Alabama Short-Term Credential Program to provide additional scholarships for the training of individuals through the Alabama Community College System (Assigned to Senate Education Policy Committee). 

SB275 by Sen. Melson: To further specify the power of a county agricultural authority to develop commercial facilities and to use the revenue generated to support the authority’s mission (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB276 by Sen. Sessions: To require the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to issue an increased number of licenses to eligible applicants, to provide certain requirements and guidelines related to the licensure of certain applicants, to provide for an administrative adjudicatory process for recommendation of the awarding of available licenses to certain applicants, and to provide for an appeals process to challenge the final order of the commission regarding the licensure of certain applicants (Public Hearing but no vote in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

NOTABLE INTRODUCTIONS 

HOUSE 

HB385 by Rep. Mooney: To provide that the use of any premises to distribute material that is harmful to minors is a public nuisance (Assigned to House State Government Committee). 

HB390 by Rep. Crawford: To provide that the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is primarily responsible for the regulation, licensure, and enforcement of cannabis cultivation (Assigned to House Health Committee). 

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HB393 by Rep. Mooney: To prohibit the distribution of material harmful to minors under 18 years of age, would require the use of age-verification procedures to access the material, and provide that a distributor of material harmful to minors that performs any required online age verification may not retain any personally identifying information of the individual accessing the material (Assigned to House Judiciary Committee). 

HB394by Rep. Reynolds: To allow the Alabama Building Renovation Finance Authority to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $50 million for certain authorized projects (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB396 by Rep. Harrison: To prohibit law enforcement officers from using the four-point restraint, known as the hog-tie position, to restrain an individual, to require law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures prohibiting the use of the four-point restraint, and provide criminal penalties for a violation (Assigned to House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee). 

HB405 by Rep. Clarke: To further provide for the powers of a municipal housing authority, and to exempt public housing authorities from all taxes (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB406 by Rep. Clarke: To further provide for the powers of a county housing authority, to ratify certain acts of county housing authorities before the effective date of this act, and to exempt county housing authorities from all taxes (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB408 by Rep. Mooney: To provide that the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum shall have no jurisdiction or power within the State of Alabama, and that no rules, regulations, fees, taxes, policies, or mandates of any kind, which are passed by any of the aforementioned entities, shall be enforced or implemented in the State of Alabama or any political subdivision thereof (Assigned to House State Government Committee). 

HB414 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). 

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HB424 by Rep. Mooney: To provide that the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum shall have no jurisdiction or power within the State of Alabama (Assigned to Senate State Government Committee). 

HB425 by Rep. Yarbrough: To repeal the criminal exemption, under the Alabama Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act, for libraries and library employees or agents, to prohibit the state or any library from supplying any minor with material containing sexual content, to prohibit a library from purchasing or accepting donated materials containing sexual content if the publisher of the material has recommended it for minors, to prohibit any entity that receives state funds and any library from affiliating with the American Library Association, to authorize the Attorney General or district attorney to initiate a civil action for a violation of this act, to authorize the parent or guardian of a minor who is provided sexual content in violation of this act to bring a cause of action against the offending entity, and authorize a parent or guardian to seek an injunction against a library that purchases or accepts a donation of sexual content in violation of this act (Assigned to House Judiciary Committee). 

SENATE 

SB260 by Sen. Chambliss: To provide for the time a public tax lien auction may be held, to further provide for fees, further provide for who may redeen a tax lien that has been auctioned or sold, and would prevent a holder of a tax lien certificate from being criminally or civilly liable for violations in certain circumstances (Assigned to House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB268 by Sen. Williams: To provide for the qualifications of the Mobile County Sheriff and require completion of continuing education (Assigned to Senate Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

SB269 by Sen. Williams: To alter, rearrange, and extend the boundary lines and corporate limits of the City of Semmes in Mobile County (Assigned to Senate Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

SB270 by Sen. Orr: To establish procedures for requesting and obtaining public records (Assigned to Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB271 by Sen. Shelnutt: To create the Alabama Faith-Based Intelligence Commission within the Attorney General’s Office to research and recommend remedies to address anti-Semitism and faith-based persecution (Assigned to Senate State Governmental Affairs Committee). 

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SB272 by Sen. Albritton: To allow the Alabama Building Renovation Finance Authority to issue bonds in an amount not to exceed $50 million for certain authorized projects (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

SB273 by Sen. Sessions: To provide that for the purpose of the distribution of the net proceeds from the Simplified Sellers Use Tax (SSUT) to municipalities, the ratio of the population of each municipality to the total population of all municipalities would be adjusted annually to include increases in population as a result of annexations (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

SB279 by Sen. Coleman: To prohibit law enforcement officers from using the four-point restraint, known as the hog-tie position, to restrain an individual, to require law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures prohibiting the use of the four-point restraint, and provide criminal penalties for a violation (Assigned to Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee). 

SB280 by Sen. Gudger: To create the employer tax credit, childcare facility tax credit, and nonprofit childcare provider tax credit to incentivize employers to fund childcare for their employees and to enable childcare providers to offer more readily available, affordable, high-quality childcare (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

SB285 by Sen. Gudger: To rename the Alabama Film Office as the Alabama Entertainment Office, allow music albums to be included as qualified productions, set the minimum expenditure threshold for music albums to qualify for incentives, and set aside incentives for music albums until July 1 of each year (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee) 

SB286 by Sen. Gudger: To require the Secretary of the Department of Commerce to appoint and establish the salary for the Director of the Alabama Film Office (Assigned to Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

SB288 by Sen. Givhan: 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 Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

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SB290 by Sen. Waggoner: To authorize counties and municipalities to establish tourism improvement districts, provide for the renewal and dissolution of tourism improvement districts, and provide for the assessments a tourism improvement district may collect businesses and the activities and improvements a tourism improvement district may carry out (Assigned to Senate Tourism Committee). 

SB291 by Sen. Waggoner: To require mayors and members of municipal governing bodies elected on or after January 1, 2025 to participate in and complete a training course, provide for the creation of a training course, and provide for expenses incurred while participating in the training course (Assigned to Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB303 by Sen. Carnley: To provide that the World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum shall have no jurisdiction or power within the State of Alabama, and that no rules, regulations, fees, taxes, policies, or mandates of any kind, which are passed by any of the aforementioned entities, shall be enforced or implemented in the State of Alabama or any political subdivision thereof (Assigned to Senate County and Municipal  Government Committee). 

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE 

The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee gave a favorable report to SB225 by Senator Garlan Gudger, and the House passed HB229 by Representative Ron Bolton, to designate Little Bluestem as the official state native grass of Alabama. Little Bluestem is attempting to join the Lane Cake (Official State Cake), the Sweet Potato (Official State Vegetable), and the Blackberry (Official State Fruit) as an official symbol of the State of Alabama.

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