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May 6, 2019 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Making news this week: The state’s economic development efforts are making great strides, and halfway through the regular session, the Education budget is moving along. Here’s a recap of the rest.
  • Tuesday, Day 14 of Regular Session: The Senate Local Legislation Committee approved four bills of local application only. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved the Education budget, which contains appropriations for public education. The House passed several bills of local application only, including a bill to permit Sunday alcohol sales in the city of Coker in Tuscaloosa County. After lengthy debate, they also approved the Human Life Protection Act, which defines the circumstances where abortions are criminal. The Senate passed several bills of local application only and general bills to create the Underwater Cultural Resources Act; to provide a sales and use tax exemption for the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, Inc.; to update the amnesty and class action provisions relating to the simplified sellers use tax; and to require criminal background checks for adults working in a childcare institution, group home, maternity center or transitional living facility.
  • Wednesday, a committee day: The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved bills to establish the Alabama Industry Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship Program Act to administer state programs in lieu of federal office and to exempt from sales and use taxes adaptive equipment. The House Governmental Affairs Committee approved bills to further provide for bonded title service providers and to increase the maximum fine for licensees of the Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects for regulatory violations. The House Education Policy Committee approved a bill to allow provisional teaching certificates to be extended up to two years. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved a bill to provide broadband in unserved areas. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to require law enforcement officers to undergo sensitivity training. The Senate Education Policy Committee approved a bill to further provide for public and non-public charter schools.
  • Thursday, Day 15 of Regular Session: The House passed a number of bills of local application only and general bills to reduce the required number of restroom fixtures at public high school sports stadiums for each gender based on seating occupancy; to provide for local boards of education to allow released time for religious education off-campus for elective credit; and to further provide for telecommunications under the Broadband Using Electric Easement Accessibility Act. The Senate passed passed several bills of local application only and general bills to allow municipal corporations to issue summons and complaints in lieu of custodial arrest; to provide supplemental appropriations from the Education Trust Fund for certain agencies for the current fiscal year and to provide a cost of living pay increase for K-12 public education employees.

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