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February 29, 2016 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

This week brought a new lottery bill and saw the Senate pass a budget all while many local application bills and bills to continue various boards sailed through committees and each chamber.

On Tuesday, February 23 (8th day of the session):

  • The House Health Committee held public hearings on four bills including one that would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat and another that would ban physician assisted suicide in Alabama.
  • The Senate passed bills to prohibit education entities from using public funds or property to advocate for or against ballot measures and to permit a retail licensee and state liquor store to conduct distilled liquor and wine tastings.
  • The House passed bills to further define the terms for road hazard insurance; to provide for pay increases for county officials; and to prohibit the executive branch from hiring lobbyists.

On Wednesday, February 24 (committee day and 9th session day):

  • Tthe House Ways and Means Education Committee approved bills to exempt Life South Community Blood Centers to be tax exempt; to approve the Alabama Renewal Act, which provides certain tax credits for the state’s port facilities; and to provide certain tax credits for rehabilitation of qualified structures.
  • The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved the Children’s First Trust Fund Appropriation, the General Fund Appropriations Budget and a bill providing for a simplified seller use tax remittance.
  • The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to further define the practice of Social Work; to rename the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund to the Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund; and to prohibit the Department of Public Health from renewing the licenses of abortion clinic located near schools.
  • The House Education Policy Committee approved bills to remove the requirement for county superintendents of education to maintain an office at the county seat and to allow children to enroll in the first grade at the age of six.
  • The House Boards Agencies and Commission Committee approved Senate-passed bills to continue the State Board of Public Accountancy; the Liquid Petroleum Gas Board; the Pilotage Commission Board; the Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examiners Board; the Real Estate Appraisers Board; the Statewide 911 Board; the Private Investigation Board; the Alcohol Beverage Control Board the State Board of Auctioneers; the Board of Examiners in Psychology; the Public Services Commission; and the Board of Examiners of Mine Personnel.
  • The House passed two bills of local application only affecting Greene and Choctaw Counties only, and Senate-passed bills to continue the Boilers and Pressure Board; the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering; the Board of Social Work Examiners; the Funeral Service Board; the Board of Court Reporting; the Department of Insurance; the Board of Examiners in Counseling; the Electrical Contractors Board; the Electronic Security Board of Licensure; the State Board of Respiratory Therapy; the Real Estate Commission; the Assisted Living Administrators Board of Examiners; and the Behavior Analyst Licensing Board.

On Thursday, February 25 (10th day of the session):

  • The Senate approved the General Fund Budget; an appropriation for the Coalition for Domestic Violence; the Children First Appropriation and a bill to simplify the remittance of sales and use tax.
  • The House passed the Alabama Renewal Act to provide certain tax credits for the state’s port facilities; to provide for simplified seller use tax remittance; to create the Alabama Longitudinal Data System; and to provide for a hospital assessment and Medicaid funding for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 using 2014 as a base year. They also approved a Senate-passed bill to continue the Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

The House and Senate reconvene on Tuesday, March 1 at 2 pm. And find a link to live audio of both chambers here.

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