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February 17, 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

In the second week of session, lots of local application only bills moved through committees and both chambers. A bill to create a statewide emergency notification system was approved by the Senate, and a bill to prohibit new municipal occupational taxes was passed in the House. Here are details:

  • Tuesday, February 11 (3rd day of session): The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee met and approved several bills, among which were bills to provide for supplemental appropriation to several self- perpetuating boards, to repeal the requirement that the Onsite Wastewater Board transfer unencumbered funds to the State General Fund and to authorize cities and counties to form development authorities for property adjacent to U.S. Air Force Bases. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee met and approved several bills including those to authorize municipalities to establish entertainment districts within their territorial limits and to allow class-8 municipalities alternative procedures to declare a public nuisance after prior abatement weeds. The House approved two bills of local application only relating to Talladega County and a general bill to prohibit municipal occupational taxes if not already in effect unless authorized by local law. The Senate approved general bills to add a consumer member appointed by the governor to the State Board of Respiratory Therapy, to add a nonresident member to the University of Montevallo board of trustees and to require reduced speed school zones in a municipality.
  • Wednesday, February 12  (committee day): Only a few bills were considered in House committees, as House members traveled to North Alabama to attend the funeral of a spouse of a fellow member. The House County and Municipal Government Committee approved bills to limit the power of mayors to grant pardons in cases of domestic violence and to further provide for the definition of landfill relating to solid waste disposal. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved bills to create a Sexual Assault Task Force and to further provide for the rights of victims, to require use of electronic monitoring for release on bail for persons charged with certain violent offenses and to further provide for the crime of shoplifting. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved bills to further provide for the definition of landfill relating to solid waste disposal, to establish a General Fund Budget Reserve Fund and to require Class 1-5 municipalities to adopt a municipal plan as a condition for receiving grants from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
  • Thursday, February 13 (4th day of session): The House passed bills of local application only and general bills to exempt County Boards of Education from the competitive law for certain leases of goods or services, to add law enforcement officers to the protected class for hate crimes and to require properties annexed with overlapping police jurisdictions to have the consent of all affected municipalities. The Senate approved bills to create a Statewide Emergency Notification System, to authorize municipalities to establish entertainment within jurisdictional limits and to include missing and endangered persons suffering from a mental or physical disability in the Missing and Endangered Person law.

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