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Legislature

Alabama 2024 Legislative Report: Week Eight

The Legislature will return to begin its 22nd legislative day out of 30 on Tuesday.

The Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.
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The Alabama Legislature met for days 20 and 21 in the eighth week of the 2024 Regular Session. 31 committee meetings were held throughout the week. The Legislature will return to begin its 22nd legislative day (out of 30) on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2 p.m.

DURING THE WEEK 

The “Working for Alabama” bills aimed at increasing workforce and economic development continued to advance through the Legislature. These bills are highlighted in the report. 

The Senate passed the $3,373,459,234 General Fund Budget (SB67 by Senator Greg Albritton)as well as the $215,427,369 supplemental appropriations bill (SB66 by Senator Greg Albritton). The Senate also passed a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for state employees (SB68 by Senator Greg Albritton), and several separate appropriation bills. 

The House debated, amended and ultimately passed HB111 by Representative Susan DuBose which defines the terms man, woman, boy, girl, father, mother, male, female and sex for purposes of state law, provides policy on the differences between sexes, provides that state and local public entities may establish separate single-sex spaces or environments in certain circumstances, and requires 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. 

The House substituted and amended HB73 by Representative Phillip Pettus to limit the assessed value of certain real property for ad valorem tax purposes. As substituted, the bill now caps real property appraisals at 7 percent, excludes tax increment financing districts, and will sunset on September 30, 2028 unless extended by the Legislature. 

NOTABLE FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK 

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HOUSE FLOOR 

HB4 by Rep. Givan: To add Juneteenth as a state holiday, and to provide that state offices shall not close on Jefferson Davis’ birthday and Juneteenth but employees will be given the option to observe either as a state holiday (As substituted). 

HB73 by Rep. Pettus: To limit the assessed value of certain real property for ad valorem tax purposes, with exceptions(As substituted and amended). 

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 (As amended). 

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 (As substituted). 

HB330 by Rep. Woods: To require the governing body of each public and private institution of higher education to provide annual reports to the Governor and certain legislators regarding funding received from foreign countries of concern and certain entities and individuals associated with those countries, and to define foreign countries of concern to mean the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and any other county determined to be a country of concern by the United States Department of State (As amended and substituted). 

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 (As substituted and amended). 

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SENATE 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. 

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). 

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 (As amended). 

HB101 by Rep. Clarke: To include additional items that are considered election expenses which must be reimbursed to counties by the state. 

HB126 by Rep. Hulsey: To require emergency medical services personnel to undergo annual training on interacting with individuals with sensory needs or invisible disabilities. 

HB156 by Rep. Robertson: To exempt a candidate running for a municipal office from filing campaign finance reports unless and until the candidate receives contributions or makes expenditures greater than $1,000 in the aggregate. 

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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. 

HB253 by Rep. Brown: To provide that the Alabama State Port Authority is a body corporate with the ability to employ non-merit system employees. 

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. 

SB66 by Sen. Albritton: Supplemental appropriations from the General Fund ($215,427,369)(As substituted). 

SB67 by Sen. Albritton: General Fund Budget ($3,373,459,234)(As substituted). 

SB68 by Sen. Albritton: To provide a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2024. 

SB128 by Senator Melson: To abolish the State Board of Health and confer all duties and authorities to the State Committee of Public Health, to provide that the Governor will appoint the State Health Officer from a list submitted by the Committee, and set minimum qualifications for the position of State Health Officer (Senate Healthcare Committee). 

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SB163 by Sen. Williams: To further provide for the procedure to fill vacancies on the boards of trustees of the firefighting and emergency medical services districts in Mobile County. 

SB220 by Sen. Roberts: To prohibit any state or local awarding authority from awarding a contract to an entity organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China or that is owned or operated by the People’s Republic of China and to provide criminal and civil penalties for a violation (As substituted). 

SB234 by Sen. Givhan: 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 (As amended). 

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 (As amended). 

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 (Carried Over on Senate Floor). 

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 (As amended). 

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 (Aa amended). 

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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 (As amended). 

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 (As substituted). 

NOTABLE COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE COMMITTEES 

HB144 by Rep. Garrett: Supplemental appropriations from the Education Trust Fund ($651,202,906) (Substituted in House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB145 by Rep. Garrett: Education Trust Fund Budget ($9,348,506,169) (Substituted in House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

HB146 by Rep. Garrett: To provide for a 2 percent pay increase for educators and education employees (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

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HB279 by Rep. Daniels: To provide that individuals have the right to use contraception, health care providers have the right to dispense contraceptive devices, and to prohibit the state and political subdivisions from enforcing any law that would interfere with the distribution and use of contraceptives (Amended in House Judiciary). 

HB325 by Rep. Kiel: To require the Secretary of the Department of Commerce to appoint and establish the salary for the Director of the Alabama Film Office. 

HB367 by Rep. Sells: To add Juneteenth as a state holiday, and to provide that state offices shall not close on Jefferson Davis’ birthday and Juneteenth but employees will be given the option to observe either as a state holiday (House State Government Committee). 

HB373 by Rep. Lawrence: 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 additionalscholarships for the training of individuals through the Alabama Community College System (Substituted in House Education Policy Committee). 

HB376 by Rep. Yarbrough: To provide that state and local law enforcement agencies may enter into memorandums of understanding and agreements with the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and any other federal agency for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration and customs laws and the detention, removal, and investigation of illegal aliens and the immigration status of any person in this state (Carried over in House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and sent to a subcommittee for further review). 

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

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HB411 by Rep. Hollis: To provide for the pregnancy testing of certain women after admission to a jail; to provide for the supervised pre-incarceration probation of a pregnant woman in certain circumstances; to provide for the self surrender of a woman serving a pre-incarceration term of probation 12 weeks after the birth of her child; to provide for criminal penalties for failure to surrender; and to provide procedures for if a woman loses her pregnancy while on pre-incarceration probation (House Judiciary Committee). 

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 (Amended in Senate State Government Committee). 

SB53 by Sen. Orr: To eliminate the eligibility to work form currently required of individuals under the age of 16 (Substituted in House Commerce and Small Business Committee). 

SB65 by Sen. Kitchens: To increase statute of limitations on insurance fraud from 2 to 7 years after the fraud was detected (House Insurance Committee). 

SENATE COMMITTEES 

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 (Amended in Senate County and Municipal 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 (Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

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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 (Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

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 (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

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 (Senate County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SB164 by Sen. Price: To provide limitations of liability for certain actions taken by bovines to their owners (Substituted in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB193 by Sen. Williams: To provide for the salary and expense allowance of the sheriff of Mobile County (Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

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 redeem 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 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 (Amended in Senate Mobile County Legislation Committee). 

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

SB270 by Sen. Orr: To establish procedures for requesting and obtaining public records (Senate County and Municipal Government 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 (Amended in Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry 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 (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 (Amended in Senate County and Municipal Government 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 (Amended in 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 (Amended in Senate County and Municipal  Government Committee). 

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SB306 by Sen. Melson: To provide that the regulation, licensure, and enforcement functions relating to the cultivation of cannabis are duties of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission and would require the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to cooperate with the commission in carrying out these functions, to specify a three-step process for the awarding of integrated facility licenses, to provide greater specificity to the eligibility requirements for integrated license facility licensure, and to prohibit the transfer of an integrated facility license (Senate Agriculture, conservation and Forestry Committee). 

SB309 by Sen. Livingston: To provide that the additional state sales tax rate assessed on alcoholic beverages sold in an ABC retail store shall be equal to the combined county and municipal general sales tax rate assessed in the county and municipality where the transaction occurs (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

NOTABLE INTRODUCTIONS 

HOUSE 

HB440 by Rep. Shedd: To provide for a benefit increase for certain retirees of the Employees’ Retirement System on October 1, 2023 (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB448 by Rep. Daniels: To revise deadlines to qualify for a general election to accommodate national political party conventions (Assigned to House Constitution, Campaign and Elections Committee). 

SENATE 

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SB317 by Sen. Smitherman: To provide that it is unlawful for a minister, priest, rabbi, bishop or other recognized member of the clergy in a position of trust or authority over a person to commit certain sex acts with an individual 19 years of age, or a protected person under 22 years of age, and provide for penalties (Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB318 by Sen. Coleman: To revise deadlines to qualify for a general election to accommodate national political party conventions (Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee). 

SB319 by Sen. Albritton: To provide that a state agency may not execute a settlement agreement for a claim made against the state unless the state agency has sufficient funds available to the state agency to pay the full amount owed under the settlement agreement (Assigned to Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund). 

SB323 by Sen. Price: To prohibit counties from distributing local tobacco tax proceeds to any entity whose property has been foreclosed upon or has declared bankruptcy (Assigned to Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE 

The Senate passed SB225 by Senator Garlan Gudger to designate Little Bluestem as the official state native grass of Alabama. 

Representative Mike Shaw introduced HB434 to designate the Alabama Shad as the official state migratory fish. 

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Little Bluestem and the Alabama Shad are attempting to join the Largemouth Bass(Official State Freshwater Fish), the Atlantic Tarpon (Official State Saltwater Fish), and the Alabama Red-Bellied Turtle (Official State Reptile) as official symbols of the State of Alabama.

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