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March 2, 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The fourth week of session has come and gone. Governor Ivey voiced her support for bipartisan bills that aim to solve the state’s prison problems. And the fate of new municipal occupational taxes is now on her desk, as the Senate passed the bill blocking cities from levying occupational taxes without going through the legislature last Thursday (see more info below). Here’s some of the other happenings from lat week.

  • Tuesday, February 25 (7th day of session): The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a number of bills including bills to change the terms of office for county boards of education members from six to four years and to regulate certain private water system utilities. The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to increase the minimum age from 16 to 17 years of age for contract marriage; to include persons with mental or physical disabilities in the law governing missing and endangered persons; to allow local boards of education to deem military dependents as Alabama for purposes of virtual education when an Armed Forces member relocates to the state; and to require permanency plans for children when courts consider termination of parental rights. The Senate passed 12 sunset bills to continue to the operations of various state boards and commissions, and general bills to require redaction of contract information from court documents released to the public regarding elder abuse victims and to create a Sexual Assault Task Force and Sexual Assault Bill of Rights.
  • Wednesday, February 26  (committee day): One of the busiest committees was the House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee, which approved 16 Senate-passed bills relating to sunset consideration for various boards, agencies and commissions of government. The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved a bill to further provide for penalties for driving without a license and to adopt federal procedures for the use restraints on pregnant prisoners. The House Education Policy Committee approved a bill to revise focus, course material and instruction sex education in public K-12 schools. The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved a bill to create the Alabama STEM Council as an independent state entity within the Department of Commerce Workforce Division. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved a House-passed bill to further provide for the definition of a landfill. The Senate Children, Youth and Human Services Committee approved a House-passed bill to add permanency plans in the consideration for termination of parental rights.
  • Thursday, February 27 (8th day of session): The House passed bills to further provide for bond consideration in certain criminal cases and to provide an additional offense under which bond can be denied.

The House and Senate return on Tuesday, March 3, at 3 pm and 2:30 pm respectively.

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