Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week one

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Alabama 2021 Legislative Report: Week one

The Alabama Legislature began its annual Regular Session on Tuesday, Feb. 2. As the annual session is limited by law to 30 session days within a 105 calendar day period, the session must conclude by May 17, 2021. Generally, the Legislature meets in session on Tuesday and Thursday of each week with Wednesday as the major day for committee meetings. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature met all three days this week, will meet all three days next week, and will take at least a week off to assess the situation. 

Gov. Kay Ivey addressed the Legislature and public Tuesday evening after the session indicating the budgets she would propose include a 2 percent pay raise for teachers and state employees along with targeted funding increases for several programs including the Department of Early Childhood Education, Career and Technical Initiatives, Math and Science Technology Initiative, the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Corrections. 

The Education Trust Fund budget and the General Fund budget bills were introduced in the Legislature last week. The Education Trust Fund for fiscal year 2022 totals $7.65 billion, which is an increase of more than $440 million from the current fiscal year. The General Fund budget proposes expenditures of $2.45 billion, an increase of $31 million from the current year’s budget. 

550 bills were introduced in the first three session days: 351 in the House and 199 in the Senate.

The Legislature will return to Montgomery on Tuesday, Feb. 9 for day four of the session with the House convening at 1 p.m. and the Senate convening at 2 p.m.

Governor and leadership priorities

HB192 by Rep. Poole — To reestablish and expand the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Credit for attracting new and expanding businesses.

SB30 by Sen. Orr — To provide limited civil immunity for business entities, health care providers, educational entities, churches, governmental entities, and cultural institutions operating in this state, as well as individuals associated with these entities, from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus during a declared state of emergency.

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HB170 by Rep. Garrett — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, Small Business Administration subsidy payments, Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, student loan payments, or qualified disaster relief payments, and adjust certain business taxes.

SB36 by Sen. Albritton — To revise the limitations on confinement for parole and probation violations, and to provide that the state must reimburse county commissions for health care costs of state parolees and probationers.

House

HB1 by Rep. Allen — To prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the appearance of the minor child’s gender or delay puberty.

HB 6 by Rep. Givan — To establish a procedure to determine whether, to whom, and what portion of a recording made by law enforcement may be disclosed or a copy released, and to establish procedures for contesting a refusal to disclose.

HB8 by Rep. Givan — To authorize a county or municipality to remove any monument located on public property, to require the transfer of ownership to the monument to the Department of Archives and History or the Alabama Historical Commission for maintenance and appropriate public display, and to repeal the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017.

HB14 by Rep. Reynolds — To exempt airport authorities from paying sales and use taxes, and to include airport authorities in the list of governmental entities that may be issued an annual certificate of exemption.

HB16 by Rep. Reynolds — To require the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission to provide mandatory mental health awareness training which emphasizes crisis intervention concepts, and to require a certified law enforcement officer to complete a continuing education course relating to mental health awareness.

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HB21 by Rep. Nordgren — A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize the Legislature to call itself into a special session.

HB27 by Rep. Simpson — To create the crime of aggravated home repair fraud to provide enhanced criminal penalties for home repair fraud committed for the repair of a residential structure that was damaged as a result of an event which was declared a state of emergency by the Governor.

HB29 by Rep. Hall — To allow a registered voter to vote by absentee ballot without an excuse.

HB88 by Rep. Hollis — To require local boards of education to provide feminine hygiene products in women’s restrooms at schools under the boards’ jurisdiction.

HB90 by Rep. K. Brown — To prohibit a person from physically holding a wireless telecommunications device, viewing recording or capturing a photograph or video, or from engaging in a voice-based communication while operating a motor vehicle, with exceptions.

HB97 by Rep. Morris — To require mental health awareness to be included in the annual training session for employees of schools.

HB116 by Rep. Standridge — To authorized the Secretary of State to conduct a one-time post-election pilot audit after the November 8, 2022 general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported outcome of the election.

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HB124 by Rep. Pringle — To require previously exempted self-sustaining state professional licensing boards, agencies, and commissions and certain interscholastic athletic organizations to publish their expenditure information on the public website of the board, agency, or commission, or on the website of the Comptroller for a reasonable fee.

HB127 by Rep. Pringle — To create the State Transportation Commission composed of five members appointed by the Governor from each regions of the Department of Transportation, and to provide for the appointment of the Director of the Department of Transportation by the commission.

HB130 by Rep. C. Brown — To provide for additional offenses that would require mandatory denial of bail.

HB131 by Rep. C. Brown — A proposed Constitutional Amendment that would require reasonable bail in all cases, except for offenses enumerated by the Legislature by general law.

HB133 by Rep. C. Brown — To establish the crimes of assault against a first responder, damaging a public monument, aggravated riot, and harassment on or within 10 feet of a place of public accommodation; to provide that a political subdivision of the state that defunds a local law enforcement agency may not receive any state grant or aid money, or any allocation of state revenues, and provide that members of the governing body may be held civilly liable for violent crimes that occur.

HB136 by Rep. C. Brown — To designate the Dauphin Island Sea Lab as the official Aquarium of Alabama.

HB157 by Rep. Hanes — To create the Second Amendment Preservation Act to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

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HB161 by Rep. Rogers — To create the Alabama Sports Wagering Commission, and to permit wagering on the results of certain professional and collegiate sports or athletic events.

HB177 by Rep. Reynolds — To allow a municipality to use electronic records and signatures in the conduct of its affairs.

HB179 by Rep. Clarke — To provide for an increase in the number of executive level employees which the director of the Alabama State Port Authority is entitled to appoint, and to provide that the commercial terms of certain contracts entered into by the Port Authority are exempt from certain state law limiting confidentiality.

HB189 by Rep. C. Brown — To provide an alternative procedure for the dissolution of a public park and recreation beach board under certain conditions and for the transfer of the property of the board to the municipality where the public park is located upon approval of both the county and the municipality.

HB190 by Rep. C. Brown — To provide that the Public School and College Authority may use bond proceeds for construction, alterations, improvements, and equipment for public educational purposes at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

HB191 by Rep. Collins — To provide for the annexation of all of the property in overlapping police jurisdictions upon consent of all of the parties and all of the affected municipalities under certain conditions.

HB199 by Rep. Rogers — A proposed Constitutional Amendment to establish an Alabama Lottery, an Alabama Lottery Corporation, and the Lottery Trust Fund; to provide for allocation of the Fund, and to terminate the lottery and Alabama Lottery Corporation after a specified period of time.

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HB200 by Rep. Rogers — To authorize casino gambling in cities of more than 100,000, and provide licensing, regulation and control of casino gaming operations, manufacturers and distributors of gaming devices, equipment and supplies.

HB229 by Rep. Isbell — To provide for a delivery service license from the ABC Board that allows the licensee to deliver beer, wine and spirits directly to individuals who are at least 21 years of age.

HB232 by Rep. Simpson To require all courts in the state to take judicial notice of all municipal ordinances of a Class 2 municipality.

HB238 by Rep. Shaver — To provide that if a person is convicted of boating or driving under the influence, the person’s boating and driver’s licenses will be suspended; to require a person to operate a vessel at idle speeds under certain conditions; to provide boater safety certification requirements.

HB242 by Rep. Holmes — To revise definitions, prohibitions against disturbance, and fines for removal of memorials under the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

HB246 by Rep. Gray — To authorize local boards of education to offer yoga to students in grades K-12.

HB251 by Rep. Scott — To establish a procedure to authorize wireless providers to collocate, mount, or install small wireless facilities on existing poles, or install new poles on the right- of-way of the state or any agency, county, or municipality.

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HB252 by Rep. Scott — To establish the crime of female genital mutilation.

HB273 by Rep. Drummond — To raise the minimum age for legal possession, transportation, and purchase of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, and alternative nicotine products from 19 to 21.

HB281 by Rep. Gaston — To extend the income tax credit for the rehabilitation of qualified historic structures through 2029.

HB298 by Rep. Poole — To provide a 2% or 3% pay increase to public education employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021.

HB299 by Rep. Poole — To make supplemental appropriations from the Education Fund Budget to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, the Educational Television Commission, The Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium, Tuskegee University, Athens State University, and the University of West Alabama.

HB319 by Rep. Stringer — To authorize the Legislative Council to review executive orders issued by the President of the United States and submit them to the Attorney General for review, and to provide that when certain executive orders are determined by the attorney general to be an unconstitutional restriction of rights, the state or a political subdivision or agency may not implement the executive order.

HB320 by Rep. Lawrence — To provide a cost-of-living increase for state employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021.

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Senate

SB3 by Sen. Allen — To require local boards of education to adopt policies requiring each K-12 public school to broadcast or sanction the performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the commencement of each school-sanctioned sporting event and at least once per week at each public K-12 school during school hours.

SB5 by Sen. Allen — To repeal certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of a firearm on certain property or in a motor vehicle by persons with or without a concealed pistol permit.

SB6 by Sen. Elliott — To provide for the expenditure of funds received by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, pursuant to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006, for coastal conservation, restoration and protection.

SB8 by Sen. Elliott — To provide that a homeowner’s association or condominium association may not prohibit the displaying the flag of the State of Alabama on residential property within the association.

SB10 by Sen. Shelnutt — To prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the appearance of the minor child’s gender or delay puberty.

SB11 by Sen. Givan — To exempt airport authorities from paying sales and use taxes, and to include airport authorities in the list of governmental entities that may be issued an annual certificate of exemption.

SB12 by Sen. Allen — Proposed Constitutional Amendment to require local boards of education to adopt policies requiring each K-12 public school to broadcast or sanction the performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the commencement of each school- sanctioned sporting event and at least once per week at each public K-12 school during school hours.

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SB14 by Sen. A. Jones — To require the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission to provide mandatory mental health awareness training which emphasizes crisis intervention concepts, and to require a certified law enforcement officer to complete a continuing education course relating to mental health awareness.

SB37 by Sen. Sessions — To restore the jurisdiction of the Public Service commission over certain customer complaints related to retail telecommunications services and certain telephone bundling packages.

SB39 by Sen. Price — To create the crime of aggravated home repair fraud to provide enhanced criminal penalties for home repair fraud committed for the repair of a residential structure that was damaged as a result of an event which was declared a state of emergency by the Governor.

SB45 by Sen. Beasley — To authorize the Secretary of State to conduct a one-time post-election pilot audit after the November 8, 2022 general election to determine the accuracy of the originally reported outcome of the election.

SB46 by Sen. Melson — To authorize and regulate the cultivation, processing, dispensing and use of medical cannabis.

SB62 by Sen. Elliott — To authorize a Class 8 municipality that is not in a county with a Class 2 municipality and that abuts the Gulf of Mexico to establish three entertainment districts within its corporate limits.

SB65 by Sen. Sessions — To provide an alternative procedure for the dissolution of a public park and recreation beach board under certain conditions and for the transfer of the property of the board to the municipality where the public park is located upon approval of both the county and the municipality.

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SB97 by Sen. Whatley — To provide that a state of emergency terminates after 14 days and may be extended only by joint resolution of the Legislature or, if the Legislature is not in Session, by joint proclamation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

SB98 by Sen. Roberts — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, Small Business Administration subsidy payments, Emergency EIDL Grants, Targeted EIDL advances, student loan payments, or qualified disaster relief payments.

SB107 by Sen. Elliott — To limit the police jurisdiction of a municipality to territory in the police jurisdiction of the municipality on the effective date of this act and to provide for the reduction or elimination of a police jurisdiction.

SB126 by Sen. Waggoner — To provide for a delivery service license issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that would allow the licensee to deliver sealed beer and wine from certain licensed retail establishments directly to individuals in Alabama who are at least 21 years of age for their personal use.

SB138 by Sen. Waggoner — To allow certain wine manufacturers to obtain a direct wine shipper license from the ABC Board to allow shipments of limited wine quantities directly to individuals in the state for personnel use.

SB146 by Sen. Singleton — To authorize common carriers to make delivery of alcoholic beverages to Alabama residents, and to provide for direct wine shipper permits.

SB167 by Sen. Jones — To provide for licensure for wine festivals, and to authorize a winery to provide tastings and sell its wine for on-premises or off-premises consumption at a wine festival.

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SB169 by Sen. Figures — To provide for an increase in the number of executive level employees which the director of the Alabama State Port Authority is entitled to appoint, and to provide that the commercial terms of certain contracts entered into by the Port Authority are exempt from certain state laws limiting confidentiality.

SB188 by Sen. Orr — To provide a 2% pay increase to public education employees for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021.

COVID-19 pandemic-related bills

HB19 by Rep. Mooney — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits or advance refunds resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

HB35 by Rep. Whitt — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits or advance refunds resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

HB86 by Rep. Mooney — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits or advance refunds resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act or any subsequent federal act, and to provide for an exclusion from Alabama income taxation and financial institution excise taxation for small business loans forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.

HB98 by Rep. Whitt — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits or advance refunds resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act or any subsequent federal act, and to provide for an exclusion from Alabama income taxation and financial institution excise taxation for small business loans forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.

HB152 by Rep. Mooney — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits or advance refunds resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act or any subsequent federal act, and to provide for an exclusion from Alabama income taxation and financial institution excise taxation for small business loans forgiven under the Paycheck Protection Program.

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HB168 by Rep. Garrett — To prohibit a county health officer, during a state of emergency, from issuing an order or directive that relates to the control of a pandemic or outbreak of a disease unless approved by the State Health Officer.

HB211 by Rep. South — To establish the COVID-19 Recovery Capital Credit Protection Act of 2021, to increase the amount of various types of compensation that may be exempted, and to provide and extension to the employment and wage requirements of the capital credit program and associated penalties.

HB214 by Rep. C. Brown — To prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees or prospective employees based on coronavirus immunization status, and to prohibit ticket issuers from denying entry to entertainment events based on immunization status.

HB241 by Rep. Holmes — To provide that a state of emergency terminates after 14 days and may be extended only by joint resolution of the Legislature or, if the Legislature is not in Session, by joint proclamation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

HB257 by Rep. Mooney — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, Small Business Administration subsidy payments, Emergency EIDL Grants, Targeted EIDL advances, student loan payments, or qualified disaster relief payments.

SB1 by Sen. Orr — To authorize the State Health Officer or any county health officer to employ or engage contact tracers to trace those individuals who may have come into contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, and to provide privacy protections

SB7 by Sen. Elliott — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, or loan forgiveness resulting from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

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SB184 by Sen. Shelnutt — To prohibit a county health officer, during a state of emergency, from issuing an order or directive that relates to the control of a pandemic or outbreak of a disease unless approved by the State Health Officer.

Resolutions

HJR5 by Rep. Lee — To extend the existing sales and use tax exemption on parts, components, and systems used in the refurbishing of aircraft.

HJR6 by Rep. Clarke — To honor Mr. James K. Lyons for his contributions to the State of Alabama as Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority.

Significant floor action this week in the House

HB170 by Rep. Garrett — To provide for an exclusion from Alabama individual income taxation for any federal tax credits, advance refunds, Small Business Administration subsidy payments, Emergency EIDL Grants, Targeted EIDL advances, student loan payments, or qualified disaster relief payments.

HB192 by Rep. Poole — To reestablish the Growing Alabama Credit that allows the credit to be applied against the state portion of the financial institution excise tax and the insurance premiums tax.

HB231 by Rep Clouse — To make a supplemental appropriation of available federal funds from the Alabama Emergency Rental Assistance fund to the Department of Finance of an estimated $263,236,067 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021.

Significant floor action this week in the Senate

SB30 by Sen. Orr — To provide civil immunity for business entities, health care providers, educational entities, churches, governmental entities, and cultural institutions operating in this state, as well as individuals associated with these entities, from certain damages claimed by individuals who allege that they contracted or were exposed to Coronavirus during a declared state of emergency.

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SB36 by Sen. Albritton — To revise the limitations on confinement for parole and probation violations, and to provide that the state must reimburse county commissions for health care costs of state parolees and probationers.

SB76 by Sen. Orr — To establish a procedure to authorize wireless providers to collocate, mount, or install small wireless facilities on existing poles, or install new poles on the right- of-way of the state or any agency, county, or municipality.

On the lighter side

A bill was introduced in the Senate to designate the sweet potato as the official state vegetable of Alabama. If enacted the sweet potato will join the Camellia (state flower), the pecan (state nut), the blackberry (state fruit), and the Lane Cake (state dessert), among others, as an official symbol of the State of Alabama (SB171 by Senator Garlan Gudger).

Budgets

HB297 by Rep. Poole: Education Budget Pending in House Ways and Means Education Committee

HB309 by Rep. Clouse: General Fund Budget Pending in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee

SB189 by Sen. Orr: Education Budget Pending in Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

Totals

  • Bills Introduced: 550
  • Bills which have passed house of origin: 24
  • Bills which have passed both houses: 0
  • Bills which are pending governor’s signature: 0
  • Bills which have been vetoed: 0
  • Constitutional Amendment Bills pending referendum: 0
  • Bills enacted: 0