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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

In the third week of session, a lot of basic business got done: approval by the Senate of the continuation of multiple and various sunset bills. A bill raising the marriage age made it through committee. And the medical marijuana bill made more progress (see separate article below). Here’s a condensed rundown of some of the activity:

  • Tuesday, February 18 (5th day of session): The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a number of sunset bills to continue state boards, agencies and commissions to operate for another four years. The Senate Local Legislation Committee approved one bill of local application only, affecting Elmore County.
    The House approved a number of general bills including bills to regulate micro blading and eyelash facilities; to prohibit discrimination against organ transplant recipients with disabilities; to authorize local governments to develop property adjacent to U.S. Air Force Bases; to create a Tier III retirement plan for education employees; and a bill to provide supplemental appropriations to several self-perpetuating boards. The Senate approved a number of general bills including bills to authorize local governments to develop property adjacent to U.S. Air Force Bases; to authorize the State Board of Education to issue alternative teaching certificates to qualified former members of the Armed Forces; to authorize the formation of charter schools on or near military installations, with a focus on serving military dependents; and deem military dependents Alabama residents for purposes of virtual education when members of the U.S. Armed Forces are ordered to relocate to the state.
  • Wednesday, February 12  (committee day): The House State Government Committee approved bills to require that students in public K-12 participate only in events with persons of the same biological gender, and to allow up to $1,500 of interest and dividend deduction on a state short form. The House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee approved bills to increase the age for contract marriages from age16 to age 17; to include missing and endangered persons suffering from mental or physical disability in state law; and to add to add permanency plans for children in cases relating to termination of parental rights. The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved a bill to establish the Office of Chief Procurement Officer. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved bills to allow the use of medical cannabis for certain conditions and to require the redaction of certain contract information released to the public in court matters relating to the elderly. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved bills to further provide for the condition under which former public employees and officials can work for the same or other agencies and to allow for the negotiation when all bids exceed available funding.
  • Thursday, February 20 (6th day of session): The House passed several general bills, including bills to further provide for the definition of a landfill (more info on this below) and to limit the pardon powers of a mayor in cases of domestic violence. The Senate passed one bill of local application only relating to Elmore County and 18 Sunset Bills continuing boards such as General Contractors, Accountancy, Real Estate Commission and Securities Commission.

The House and Senate return on Tuesday, February 24, at 1 pm and 2 pm respectively.

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