Category: Alabama Legislature
MONTGOMERY — Several state legislative committees met to consider bills Wednesday. Here are the highlights of action from the State House. Read more.
Sen. Tim Melson’s bill to allow medical marijuana with restrictions cleared another hurdle Wednesday when it was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. Read more.
MONTGOMERY —A constitutional amendment that would allow the state to borrow $80 million to improve state parks passed its first vote in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Christopher Blankenship told Alabama Daily News that the bonds would be used to expand and improve campgrounds and recreational areas.
“As we’ve seen this past year with COVID, state parks and outdoor recreation have been extremely important to people for their physical and mental health,” Blankenship said. “We saw great increases in usage at our parks, and also the federal wild properties in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.” Read more.
More from the Legislature this week:
MONTGOMERY — A bill that would require any future legislation related to the conduct of general elections be passed at least six months before the election passed the House Tuesday. It’s a constitutional amendment that, if passed by the Senate, would be on the ballot for the 2022 general election. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — A bill that would have prohibited the use of hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices while driving was defeated in the House by one vote Tuesday. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — Alabamians could have beer, wine and spirits delivered to their homes starting this fall.
The Legislature gave final passage Tuesday to Senate Bill 126 from Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, which would allow customers to have alcoholic products home delivered from grocery or liquor stores and restaurants. It also sets up a delivery license process, fees and rules for alcohol delivery. Read more.
Legislation in the Alabama State House would increase the allowable tax credit for individuals and corporations that donate to private school scholarships through the Alabama Accountability Act.
The 2013 law allows for tax credit-funded scholarships for families leaving the state’s lowest-performing public schools. There also is a separate $30 million-per-year scholarship fund for private school tuition. Businesses and individuals who donate to the fund receive income tax credits — money that would otherwise go to the state education budget. Scholarship granting organizations, or SGOs, collect and distribute the money to low-income families. Those students are not required to come from failing schools.
House Bill 559 by Rep. Charlotte Meadows, R-Montgomery, does not change that $30 million cap but expands the allowable credit from 50% of an individual’s tax burden to 75%, capped at $75,000. Read more.
The Alabama Legislature on Thursday approved a bill that would allow churches and small businesses to remain open during states of emergency. It now goes to the governor.
House Bill 103 by Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville, would allow businesses and places of worship to remain open as long as they comply with any emergency order, rules or regulations issued by the governor and state or local agencies. It would do away with the idea of “essential businesses.”
Kiel has said small local retailers shouldn’t have been forced to close last year under public health orders while big box stores remained open.
Democrats called the bill dangerous and said it could lead to super-spreader events in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, led Senate Democrats in a filibuster of the bill, arguing it put business interests over public health. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — It was committee day in the State House Wednesday as several House and Senate panels met to consider proposals moving through the legislative process. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — On their first day back in session after spring break, lawmakers in the House and Senate slowed down legislative action to draw out debate and call attention to lack of movement of bills. Read more.
More from the Legislature