canada africa partner reservation Alabama 2024 Legislative Report: Week Eleven

Alabama 2024 Legislative Report: Week Eleven

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The Alabama Legislature met for days 26 and 27 in the eleventh week of the 2024 Regular Session. 32 committee meetings were held throughout the week. The Legislature will return to begin its 28th legislative day (out of 30) on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2 p.m. 

DURING THE WEEK 

The Conference Committee reported a compromise package on the gaming legislation. The compromise package would authorize an education lottery, seven electronic games only casinos, a compact for full casinos at the Poarch Creeks’ three current locations and would establish a gaming commission to oversee it all. The referendum would be held in a special election on August 20, 2024. The House adopted the conference committee report but the Senate did not with the report not receiving the necessary 21 votes. The bills were then carried over in the Senate (HB151 and HB152 by Representative Chris Blackshear). 

The House substituted, amended and passed the $3.3 billion General Fund Budget (SB67 by Senator Greg Albritton), and the supplemental appropriations bill (SB66 by Senator Greg Albritton). The bills will return to the Senate for action on the House amendments. The House also passed the 2 percent state employee cost-of-living pay increase (SB68 by Senator Greg Albritton) which now goes to the Governor. 

The Senate substituted, amended and passed the $9.3 billion Education Trust Fund Budget (HB145 by Representative Danny Garrett), and the supplemental appropriations bill (HB144 by Representative Danny Garrett). The bills returned to the House which non-concurred in the Senate changes. Three members from each House will be appointed for a Conference Committee next week to work out their differences. The Senate also passed the 2 percent pay increase (HB146 by Representative Danny Garrett) for educators and education employees which now goes to the Governor. 

NOTABLE FLOOR ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE FLOOR 

HB36 by Rep. Ensler: To prohibit individuals from possessing a firearm that has any part or combination of parts designed or intended to convert a firearm into a machine gun installed on or attached to the firearm (As substituted and amended). 

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

HB394 by 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. 

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HB405 by Rep. Clarke: To further provide for the powers of a municipal housing authority, and to exempt public housing authorities from taxes in certain circumstances (As substituted). 

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 taxes in certain circumstances (As substituted). 

HB441 by Rep. Garrett: To allow communities that are currently eligible for state incentives through the Growing Alabama Act, the Innovating Alabama Act, or the Alabama Jobs Act to still qualify for these initiatives and incentives when the new federal map based on the federal definition of New Market Tax Credit census tracts change on September 1, 2024, if the community are made ineligible by the new map. 

SB56 by Sen. Orr: To terminate the right to state retirement benefits for teachers and school employees convicted of certain sex offenses involving a student or minor. 

SB66 by Sen. Albritton: Supplemental appropriations from the General Fund ($253,875,169)(As substituted and amended). 

SB67 by Sen. Albritton: General Fund Budget ($3,360,223,479)(As substituted and amended). 

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

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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. 

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 (As substituted and amended). 

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. 

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. 

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. 

SB164 by Sen. Price: To provide limitations of liability for certain actions taken by bovines to their owners. 

SB186 by Sen. Orr: To prohibit the use of any ranked-choice voting method in elections except for electors who vote by absentee ballot pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. 

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

SB219 by Sen. Shelnutt: To create the Agriculture Exhibition Center Corporation to operate the Alabama Farm Center, to provide for the composition and operation of the board of directors, to permit certain counties and municipalities to sell property and appropriate public funds to the corporation, permit the corporation to allow the consumption of alcohol on the center’s premises, exempt the corporation and its property from municipal ordinances and rules, to exempt the corporation and its property from certain state, county and municipal taxes, and to provide that the Alabama Farm Center is an economic development organization for the purposes of the Growing Alabama Act (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. 

SB268 by Sen. Williams: To provide for the qualifications of the Mobile County Sheriff and require completion of continuing education (As amended). 

SB270 by Sen. Orr: To establish procedures for requesting and obtaining public records (As substituted). 

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. 

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. 

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SB336 by Sen. Waggoner: To provide that municipalities may authorize the incorporation of a research and development corridor within the corporate limits as a public corporation for the purpose of undertaking activities or acquiring property by the corridor, use its revenues for the establishment, benefit, or support of qualified enterprises, provide procedures for the creation and dissolution of a research and development corridor, provide for the powers of a research and development corridor, and provide for the powers of the board of directors of a research and development corridor, exempt corridors from fees and charges imposed by a judge of probate and from certain taxation, and exempt corridors and their projects from competitive bid laws and from other specified state oversight. 

SENATE FLOOR 

HB78 by Rep. Ensler: To create the crime of swatting, to provide that it is unlawful for a person to knowingly report, or cause to be reported, false or misleading information in certain circumstances, to establish criminal penalties, and to provide for restitution in certain circumstances. 

HB144 by Rep. Garrett: Supplemental appropriations from the Education Trust Fund ($651,202,906) (As substituted). 

HB145 by Rep. Garrett: Education Trust Fund Budget ($9,348,506,169) (As substituted). 

HB146 by Rep. Garrett: To provide for a 2 percent pay increase for educators and education employees. 

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. 

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 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. 

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HB407 by Rep. Pettus: To amend the definition of gross income, and to exempt from state income tax amounts paid as overtime compensation in accordance with the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (As amended). 

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 (As substituted). 

SB305 by Sen. Figures: To provide certain state employees and certain employees of local boards of education with 8 weeks of paid parental leave following the birth of a child, or stillbirth of a child (Passed as substituted and amended but failed to receive unanimous consent for transmittal to the House). 

SB331 by Sen. Hatcher: To allow communities that are currently eligible for state incentives through the Growing Alabama Act, the Innovating Alabama Act, or the Alabama Jobs Act to still qualify for these initiatives and incentives when the new federal map based on the federal definition of New Market Tax Credit census tracts change on September 1, 2024, if the community are made ineligible by the new map. 

SB337 by Sen. Albritton: To make supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 20, 2024, from the Opioid Treatment and Abatement Fund in the amount of $30,000,000. 

NOTABLE COMMITTEE ACTION THIS WEEK 

HOUSE COMMITTEES 

HB485 by Rep. Kiel: To create a new Division of Investigations within the Office of the State Auditor to investigate the loss, theft, or damage of certain state property and to demand repayment for the value of lost, stolen, or damaged property due to an act of negligence, to require property managers of state agencies to report loss or theft of certain state property in certain circumstances, to authorize the Attorney General to bring civil actions for cases of negligent loss or damage of state property, to authorize the State Auditor to refer to the Attorney General or an applicable district attorney any matter where there is a reasonable belief that a criminal violation has occurred (House State Government Committee). 

SB98 by Sen. Orr: To establish the School Security Program within the State Department of Education, require periodic inspections of school security at public K-12 schools and facilities, to provide for implementation of the program, to create the School Security and Fire Safety Fund, to provide grants for qualifying local boards of education, and to require each local board of education to designate an employee as a district safety coordinator (Public Hearing and Substituted in House Education Policy Committee). 

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SB152 by Sen. Sessions: To provide that the State Pilotage Commission in a Class 2 municipality must approve maritime data for use in the pilotage of ships in Mobile Bay (House Ports, Waterways and Intermodal Transit Committee). 

SB167 by Sen. Coleman: To provide that any jobs act incentives awarded to an incentivized company may be recaptured if the incentivized company or a related company engaged in human trafficking violations or violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

SB191 by Sen. Givhan: To authorize the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board to own its warehouses used for holding and distributing alcoholic beverages (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

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 (Public Hearing but no vote in House Ways and Means General Fund 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 (House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

SB315 by Sen. Singleton: To authorize the Alabama Innovation Corporation to issue state matching capital to certified growth funds, contingent upon a legislative appropriation of additional funds (House Ways and Means Education Committee). 

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 (House Judiciary Committee). 

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SB327 by Sen. Elliott: To authorize the articles of incorporation of a Capital Improvement Cooperative District to be amended to add new areas in which the district proposes to acquire a project or projects, authorize the use of funds of the district to pay the construction costs of the new projects, and provide that the rentals, rates, fees, and other charges fixed by the district would be required to be approved by the governing body of the county, municipality, or other public corporation if required by the certificate of incorporation (House County and Municipal Government Committee). 

SENATE COMMITTEES 

HB130 by Rep. Butler: To prohibit classroom instruction related to gender identity or sexual orientation in public K-12 schools from kindergarten through the 8th grade, and to prohibit the display of certain flags and insignia in public K-12 schools (Public Hearing and reported favorably from Senate Education Policy Committee). 

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 (Amended in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

HB195 by Rep. DuBose: To require sex education and human reproductive system curriculum and programs to teach sexual risk avoidance and encourage abstinence from sexual activity, to prohibit the promotion of abortions or any sexual activity in sex education or human reproductive systems curriculum, to prohibit demonstrations of contraceptives in sex education or in human reproductive systems curriculum, to authorize parents or guardians to opt their child out of sexual education or human reproductive system curriculum or programs and to authorize the Attorney General to enforce (Senate Education Policy Committee). 

HB201 by Rep. Clouse: To allow the Legislature to make direct appropriations into the Education Retirees’ Trust Fund and State Employee Retirees’ Trust Fund from any available revenue source (Substituted in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee). 

HB210 by Rep. Ingram: To provide exceptions for the circumstances under which aliens not lawfully present in the United States are prohibited from attending public postsecondary education institutions (Senate Education Policy Committee). 

HB346 by Rep. Almond: 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 (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

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HB358 by Rep. Daniels: 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 (Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee). 

HB385 by Rep. Mooney: To provide that the use of any premises to distribute material that is harmful to minors is a public nuisance, further provide for the definition of “sexual conduct,” and to provide that this does not apply to college or university libraries (Senate Children and Youth Health 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 (Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee). 

HB474 by Rep. Treadaway: To authorize any local governing body to enforce the prohibition against exhibition driving through the use of automated photographic or video traffic enforcement systems that have the ability to record violations, provide that if a violation is observed by a traffic enforcement officer or recorded by an automated traffic enforcement system, the vehicle may be impounded for a minimum of 48 hours, and provide that a violation may be committed if a person gives consent for another person to use his or her motor vehicle to commit a violation (Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee). 

HB479 by Rep. Reynolds: To make supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 20, 2024, from the Opioid Treatment and Abatement Fund in the amount of $30,000,000 (Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee). 

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE 

The House passed SB225 by Senator Garlan Gudger to designate Little Bluestem as the official state native grass, sending the bill to the Governor. 

Little Bluestem is attempting to join Marble (Official State Rock), the Square Dance (Official State Folk Dance), and the Racking Horse (Official State Horse), among others, as official symbols of the State of Alabama. 

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