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February 12, 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week, The Alabama Legislature focused again on local bills, but in addition, it passed a bill to allow the phrase “In God We Trust” on state property.
  • On Tuesday (9th day of session): The Housepassed several bills of local application only and general bills to allow the Marriage and Family Therapy Board to further define the practice to include diagnosis of mental and emotional problems; to permit Pharmaceutical Services Providers to petition the Department of Revenue for direct refund of overpayment of supplemental privilege tax; and to permit state agencies to use the motto “In God We Trust” in and on building and vehicles. The Senate passed several bills of local application only and general bills to further provide education reimbursement for those serving in the National Guard; to increase the fees for reinstatement when a person is getting reinstatement after failing to maintain mandatory liability insurance; to further provide municipalities with exceptions when dealing with summons and complaints in lieu of arrest; and to further provide for considerations relating to DUI and penalties.
  • On Wednesday (a committee day): The House Ways and Means General Fund Committeeapproved bills to reopen the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) and to extend the private hospital assessment and Medicaid funding for the 2019 fiscal year. The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved the Education Trust Fund Budget; a bill to provide salary increases to K-12 employees; and several appropriation bills that travel with the budget including a supplemental appropriation for select entities for the current fiscal year. The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to allow the mayor to authorize the remittance of court costs imposed by the municipal judge. The House County and Municipal Government Committee approved a bill to authorize the sale of tax liens be sold at auction to the bidder with the lowest interest rate. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved bills to provide a one-time lump sum retirement payment and to provide business privilege tax credits to beginning farmers.
  • On Thursday (10th day of session): The House continued to pass bills of local application only in addition to general bills to permit the Department of Transportation to require bids on road projects in excess of $250,000; to establish a tax amnesty program; and to require vehicles to move over when approaching vehicles with flashing lights.  The Senate passed several bills of local application only and general bills to provide tax credits for Neighborhood Infrastructure Authorities; to exempt the sales of gold bullions from sales and use tax; and to criminalize the taking of a video or photo depicting intimate areas of a person without the person’s consent.

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