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March 13, 2017 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Alabama Legislature returned to work on Tuesday, March 7th for the 9th day of the session. The General Fund Budget came up in committee, and here are a few other highlights:

  • On Tuesday (9th day of session): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to allow marinas to be designated an additional type of community development district; to authorize the State Fire Marshal to issue permits to certain fire protection sprinkler contractors for systems and changes to systems designed by a licensed engineer; and a Senate-passed bill to further define and provide penalties for Medicaid fraud. The Senate passed general bills to further authorize temporary license plates and registration certificates for manufacturers and dealers of boats and boat trailers; to repeal the requirement for probate judges to issue marriage licensees while providing for the recording of the event and transmission to the office of Vital Statistics; to create a tax credit for hiring an unemployed veteran regardless of whether the veteran was recently deployed; and to immunize the Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors for promulgating rules relating to antitrust laws that effect public safety. This is the companion bill that passed the House on this same day.
  • On Wednesday (a committee day): The House Judiciary Committee approved bills to authorize churches to establish security programs and designate who may carry firearms and to establish Defense Advisory Boards with immunity for board members. The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee approved a substitute General Fund Budget, which will be debated next Tuesday, and bills to extend the supplemental privilege assessment for nursing facilities and to extend the private hospital assessment. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved bills to give preference on competitive bids on public contracts by state entities to vendors owned by veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to authorize the use of an auction company for sale of state land by the Revenue Department. The Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee approved a bill to require the county superintendent of education be appointed unless provided otherwise by the constitution.
  • On Thursday (10th day of session): The House passed general bills to authorize the use of sunscreen at school and to authorize police powers for the Poarch Creek Indians on tribal lands. The Senate passed a few bills of local application only and general bills to exempt prescription drugs from business license tax based on gross receipts and to authorize the use of sunscreen at school.

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