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June 1, 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

This past week, as the regular session winds down, the Alabama Legislature passed bills to further streamline government, moved the House-passed general fund budget out of Senate committee and more.

  • Tuesday (25th Day of Regular Session): The House passed bills that would not provide unemployment compensation to certain individuals; to remove the provision of the law allowing free copies of voter lists for members of the Legislature; to create the crime of unlawfully installing a tracking device and requiring a warrant for installation by certain judges; to provide greater protection to victims of domestic abuse; to create the Human Trafficking Safe Harbor Act relating to the exploitation of children; to not renew of licenses of abortion clinics located near schools; and to provide penalties for violations of restrictions on stage II driver’s licenses. The Senate passed bills to allow the owner of residential and commercial property, statewide to claim discounts for structures retrofitted to resist storms; to move Bishop State Community College, Southern Union State Community College and Bevill State Community College who are part of the Alabama Career Center System to the Department of Labor; to permit the transporting of school children to and from extracurricular activities by means other than by bus, and to eliminate certain exemptions of the privilege or license tax on a contractor’s gross receipts.
  • Wednesday (Committee Day): The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee made minor changes to the House-passed general fund budget and favorably reported the bill out of committee. They also approved bills that would transfer monies from state use tax to the general fund and allow the citizens to vote to end all earmarks and combine general fund and education trust fund receipts.
  • Thursday (26th Day of Regular Session): The House passed bills to require ethics training members of public colleges and universities boards of trustees; to require the Retirement Systems of Alabama to submit a biannual audit of investments to the Legislature; to amend the requirements for the retirement system in Tuscaloosa County for police officers and firefighters and a Senate passed bill requiring that local boards of education use a qualified depository for textbooks. The Senate passed bills to prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement and to establish a process for filing complaints with the Attorney General; to allow state agencies to increase fees based upon the consumer price index by administrative rule; and to establish a process by which Medicaid funded long-term care services to the elderly and disabled be provided on a managed-care basis.

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