Category: Alabama Legislature

Lottery, Casino, Sports Betting Legislation Sent to House Committee

The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday received a Senate-passed gambling measure that had morphed from one entirely focused on a state lottery into an umbrella bill with the lottery, casinos and sports betting.

The bill got a first reading and was sent to the tourism committee. This is the twisted trail of a legislative effort to enhance state revenues without directly imposing new taxes. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

Broadband Expansion Bill Close to Final Vote

Bill Would Create Scholarships for Rural Teachers

Teacher Retirement Bill Advances

ADOC Reporting, Sexual Assault Victim Bills Advance, Grand Jury Bill Delayed

Bill Would Change State’s Grand Jury Secrecy Laws, Free Witnesses to Talk About Testimony

Governor Signs Alcohol Delivery Bill

Read complete legislative coverage.

Broadband Expansion Bill Close to Final Vote

MONTGOMERY — Legislation to create a new state agency to oversee the expansion and availability of high-speed broadband internet services throughout the state is close to final passage in the State House.

Various broadband and technology entities in the state voiced their support for Senate Bill 215 from Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, on Thursday during a public hearing. The House Urban and Rural Development Committee did not vote on the bill but plans to next week. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

Bill Would Create Scholarships for Rural Teachers

Teacher Retirement Bill Advances

ADOC Reporting, Sexual Assault Victim Bills Advance, Grand Jury Bill Delayed

Bill Would Change State’s Grand Jury Secrecy Laws, Free Witnesses to Talk About Testimony

Governor Signs Alcohol Delivery Bill

Read complete legislative coverage.

Bill Would Create Scholarships for Rural Teachers

MONTGOMERY — Legislation in the Alabama Senate would give scholarships to students seeking to be STEM or special education teachers in Alabama if they agree to teach in rural areas. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

Teacher Retirement Bill Advances

ADOC Reporting, Sexual Assault Victim Bills Advance, Grand Jury Bill Delayed

Bill Would Change State’s Grand Jury Secrecy Laws, Free Witnesses to Talk About Testimony

Governor Signs Alcohol Delivery Bill

Read complete legislative coverage.

Senate Approves Delay of Literacy Act Student Holdback Requirement

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate on Tuesday voted to delay by two years the requirement that third graders who don’t read at set levels be held back in school, as described in the Alabama Literacy Act, despite opposition from some chamber leaders.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, sponsored Senate Bill 94. It passed by a vote of 23-9.

The 2019 law currently requires that, starting at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, third grade students demonstrate sufficient reading skills before being promoted to fourth grade. Smitherman and others argued that COVID-19-caused learning loss would lead to more students being held back next year if lawmakers didn’t act. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

Bill Would Change State’s Grand Jury Secrecy Laws, Free Witnesses to Talk About Testimony

Governor Signs Alcohol Delivery Bill

Read complete legislative coverage.

Bill Would Change State’s Grand Jury Secrecy Laws, Free Witnesses to Talk About Testimony

A lawmaker from north Alabama wants grand jury witnesses to be allowed to discuss their testimony and experiences with prosecutors, something now prohibited under state law.

Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, says current law takes away witnesses’ First Amendment rights. His bill would repeal an oath of secrecy for grand jury witnesses.

House Bill 202 will be in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Ball said his original bill is modeled after federal grand jury laws, but he will bring a substitute to committee that makes the “bare minimum” changes he thinks are needed in state law.

“They could talk about whatever they knew before, the questions they were asked and how they were asked,” Ball told Alabama Daily News. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

Governor Signs Alcohol Delivery Bill

Read complete legislative coverage.

‘Vaccine Passport’ Ban Bill Passes Senate

The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved a bill to prohibit the issuance of state or local government “vaccine passports.” Senate Bill 267 sponsor Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said governments shouldn’t allow access to services based on individuals’ immunization status. Orr talked about the current COVID-19 situation, but the bill isn’t specific to the coronavirus. Read more.

Lifetime Concealed Carry Permit Bill Passes Final Vote

MONTGOMERY — A bill that would create a lifetime concealed carry permit and require the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to develop a statewide firearm “prohibited person” database passed its final vote Thursday. Read more.

More from the Legislature this week:

‘Vaccine Passport’ Ban Bill Passes Senate

Legislature Advances Wine Shipment Bill, Other Health Care and Employer-Related Bills

Constitutional Amendment Would Allow $80M Bond Issue for State Park Renovations Passes First Vote

House Committee Advances Medical Marijuana Bill; Three More Votes Needed

Yoga Bill Going to Senate, Committee Advances Student-Athlete Compensation Bill, More Action in the Legislature

Legislature Sends Alcohol Delivery Bill to Governor

House Passes CA Prohibiting Legislative Changes Within Six Months of Elections

Distracted Driving Bill Fails

Bill Increases Tax Credit Limit for Accountability Act Donors