Tag: Alabama Legislature

Legislative Briefs: Nursing Home, Hospital Visitation; Drive-Through Alcohol Sales

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Legislature met for the 24th day of its 30-day regular session Tuesday. Here are some highlights of what happened at the State House. 

Bill Ensuring Hospital, Nursing Home Visitation Rights Goes to Governor

Committee OKs Inmate IDs for Absentee Voting, Kills Curbside Voting

Broadband Expansion Bill Heads to Full House

Drive-Through Alcohol Bill Passes House

Free Menstrual Products in Schools Passes First Vote
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Civil Asset Forfeiture Compromise Clears Senate

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate on Tuesday approved legislation changing the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws, putting new rules on what law enforcement can take from those charged with low-level drug offenses.

Advocacy groups have argued for years that current law allows police to seize property even without a conviction, which they say disproportionately hurts low-income individuals and minorities.

“This will put better boundaries around the property of people and raise the bar for the government seizing it and forfeiting it for low-level charges,” Sen. Arthur Orr told Alabama Daily News.
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Child Abuse Cost Alabama $3.7 Billion in 2018, New Report Says

MONTGOMERY — A new report from the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention says child maltreatment, abuse and neglect have cost the state around $3.7 billion.

Various community organizers and state agencies that work to prevent child abuse gathered at the State House on Tuesday to present the report and stress to legislators the importance of investing in the prevention of child maltreatment.

“You can pay now or you can pay later; you can’t do more with less,” Sallye Longshore, director of the ADCANP, said.
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More from the Legislature:

Civil Asset Forfeiture Compromise Clears Senate

Legislative Briefs: Nursing Home, Hospital Visitation; Drive-Through Alcohol Sales

Proposal Changing Charter School Funding Has Potential Bipartisan Support

MONTGOMERY — As advocates for public charter schools push for more equal funding in the Alabama Legislature this year, an unlikely ally has emerged signaling potential bi-partisan support for the proposal.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D- Birmingham, a prominent voice in the state’s minority party, recently filed Senate Bill 387, similar to House Bill 487, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, earlier this session.

These bills would make changes to the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act and allow for some local tax dollars to follow students to charter schools similar to how they would to any other school. Currently, both state and federal dollars follow students who leave traditional schools and enroll in charter schools, but local dollars do not.

“Many of these people are constituents and so they asked for some help in those areas, and that’s what the objective was, just to help them to provide them with some funds so that they could ease the burden on the students,” Smitherman told Alabama Daily News.

Alabama Democrats have historically been against expanding charter schools in the state and fought against the broad 2015 school choice legislation, arguing it would undermine traditional schools. Read more.

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.