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Alabama Municipal Official Training Act signed into law

The act specifically requires mayors and councilmembers to complete 10 hours of training annually.

Prattville City Hall
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The Alabama League of Municipalities (ALM) joined Gov. Kay Ivey Wednesday for a ceremony to sign Senate Bill 291, the Alabama Municipal Official Training Act. ALM drafted this bill, in partnership with sponsors Sen. Jabo Waggoner and Rep. Jim Hill, to support communities by requiring Alabama municipal officials to complete mandatory training.

The act specifically requires mayors and councilmembers to complete 10 hours of training annually, provided by ALM, during their first term in office. All elected local officials will be required to receive five hours of training credits annually after receiving the 40 hours required for ALM’s basic Certified Municipal Official (CMO) certification.

“The Alabama League of Municipalities is proud the Alabama Municipal Official Training Act was signed into law today. This training will better position local officials to understand core subjects necessary to maintain their operations, abide by state laws and help their communities prosper,” ALM Executive Director Greg Cochran said. “We appreciate Sen. Waggoner, Rep. Hill, the Alabama Legislature and Gov. Ivey for their support in passing SB 291.”

In 1994, ALM launched its voluntary CMO program, the second oldest elected municipal officials training program in the country. This training is offered in several formats each year: in-person multiday conferences, one day meetings and smaller regional trainings, and online training with anytime training and webinars. As of 2023, more than 5,200 municipal officials have attended ALM’s training in municipal government.

“It is always good to work with the League on legislation that supports our municipalities, and the Alabama Municipal Official Training Act does just that,” Sen. Waggoner said. “Whether a new official or veteran public servant, this legislation is going to provide them with a firm foundation on how best to serve their communities.”

Examples of courses to be covered include: the general powers of municipalities; duties of the mayor and council; ethics; annexations; authority to expend municipal funds; parliamentary procedure; conflicts of interests; legislative advocacy; liability; public records; police and planning jurisdiction; public works bidding; revenue sources; the competitive bid law; budgeting; audit requirements; the public purpose doctrine; the Open Meetings Act; municipal boards and zoning.

“It was an honor to sponsor this legislation to ensure that all municipal leaders receive proper training to not only learn the fundamentals of local government but to keep them abreast of any policy changes, reporting requirements, ethics changes and other updates specific to local government,” Rep. Hill said. “I appreciate the Alabama League of Municipalities for providing this critical training to local leaders for the past 30 years, and I look forward to seeing our communities reap the benefits.

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Municipal officials have the incentive of obtaining three different levels of CMO certification after completing 40, 80 and 120 credit hours of training as well as graduating. ALM also offers a Certified Municipality Achievement Award, which recognizes cities and towns where the mayor and all councilmembers have earned the professional designation of Certified Municipal Official within the same year.

The act will take effect January 1, 2025. View it as enrolled here.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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