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February 26, 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The Legislature was back at it last week, starting on Tuesday moving more local bills through the process. Additional bills passed ensure funding for several state agencies.
  • On Tuesday (13th day of session): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to remove the prohibition against local school superintendent having additional employment; to clarify that certain persons travelling through a municipality on business are not required to have a municipal business licenses; to allow spouses of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel killed in the line of duty to keep benefits after remarriage; to exempt from sales and use tax the sale of fruit and agricultural products; and to remove certain requirements for the appointment of guardians by the juvenile court (kinship guardianship). The Senate passed several appropriations bills to fund agencies of state government. They also passed the Children First Fund appropriation bill and a bill funding the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, plus a cost-of-living increase for state workers, which would be the first in more than 10 years.
  • On Wednesday (a committee day): The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved bills to expand the gross income range for maximum standard deductions; to provide tax credits for private intrastate adoptions; and to provide an income tax credit only offset for tax liability derived from non-Alabama sources. The House Education Policy Committee approved a bill to further provide for the qualifications of school resource officers. The House Technology and Research Committeeapproved a bill tabbed as the Alabama Data Breach Notification Act. The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved bills providing for a one-time bonus for state retirees; to provide supplemental appropriations for several agencies including the Department of Corrections; and a bill relating to the Simplified Sellers Use Tax Remittance Program. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved a bill to establish the filing threshold for income tax as the sum of the standard deduction and personal exemptions. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill revising the enforcement provisions of the Ethics law.
  • On Thursday (14th day of session): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills authorizing the taking of whitetail deer or feral swine by means of bait and bills allowing counties to issue warrants for facilities owned by municipalities. They also passed Senate-passed measures to establish the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund to be administered by ADECA and to exempt from sales and use taxes the sales of gold bullions.  The Senate passed a general bill to establish the Alabama Cyber Engineering School.

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