You are here: Home - Group Watch - April 7, 2014 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

April 7, 2014 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The session ended amid the announcement of the resignation of a prominent House member and the subsequent announcement of a plea deal with state prosecutors.

  • Tuesday (28th legislative day): TRepresentative Greg Wren of Montgomery entered a plea arrangement for an ethics violation, using his office for personal gain. After getting over the shocking news, the House went on to give final approval to a $1.8 billion General Fund budget, which includes a one-time $400 bonus for state workers and additional funding for the maligned Department of Corrections. They also gave final approval to bills that would allow people who are accused but not convicted of certain non-violent crimes to apply to have their arrest records expunged and that exempt lunches and sales of tangible property from state sales and use taxes. They debated but took no vote on a wind-farm regulation bill. The Senate Health Committee approved three abortion regulatory bills, including one banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The Senate paused to remember former Alabama U. S. Senator Jeremiah Denton who recently passed. They passed bills to encourage adoptions by providing a one-time state tax credit of $1,000; to allow the Revenue Department to suspend the collection of any tax where the cost of collection exceeds the revenue generated for three years, and approved the conference committee report on the $5.9 billion education budget that increases funding for education employees’ health insurance but provides no cost-of-living raises for active or retired educators.
  • Wednesday (a committee day and the 29th legislative day): The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee considered but did not approve a bill that would let people carry loaded pistols in their vehicle without having to get a concealed carry permit. The full House held a moment of silence for shooting victims at Fort Hood, Texas, and passed a resolution honoring the late U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton. They also passed a non-binding resolution calling for a constitutional convention to put a gay marriage ban in the U. S. Constitution. They passed bills to block bars, strip clubs, casinos and psychic services from accepting electronic welfare benefit cards; to prohibit sex offenders convicted of a crime involving minors from being within 500 feet of a school during instructional hours, and to require welfare applicants to show proof that they have applied for at least three jobs. The Senate Confirmations Committee rejected two of four nominees to the Alabama State University board of trustees. Robert Gilpin and Larry Thornton were approved by the Senate as trustees to the Alabama State University Board. They also approved a bill doubling the waiting period for an abortion, increasing it to 48 hours after a woman receives information from an abortion clinic about the risks of abortion, gestational development and alternatives to abortion.
  • Thursday (30th and final legislative day): The House gave final approval to a bill requiring drug testing for welfare applications with a drug conviction in the last five years and also approved the conference committee report on the Education Trust Fund budget that includes expanded funding for education employee insurance but no pay raise. The Senate gave a standing ovation to Democratic Senator Marc Keahey of Grove Hill after he announced he is dropping his re-election bid. They joined the House in approving bills to require a person making application for public assistance to have applied for at least three jobs; to expanding parental consent for females under the age of 18 seeking an abortion; and to prohibit a legislator who leaves office from lobbying both the House and Senate for two years. They also blocked consideration for final passage of bills to protect low cost spay-neuter clinics; to develop a database of payday loans; and to keep secret the names of companies that supply drugs for lethal injections.

Comments are closed.

The Bloom Group, Inc.

401 Adams Avenue, Suite 710
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Telephone: (334) 244-8948
Fax: (334) 213-0688

Live Audio Feed

Listen to your senators and representatives at work. Click here to find links to live audio of the House and audio plus video of the Senate.

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

The News You Need

Find the latest information on all things Alabama politics on Alabama Today.