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March 15, 2021 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week’s legislative headline was the “no-go” on the lottery and casino bill put forth by Senator Del Marsh, but House passage of the General Fund budget is big news too. Read on for more details.
  • Tuesday, March 9 (13th legislative day): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to: require the Pardons and Parole Board to use electronic monitoring for certain inmates being released from prison; provide for the General Fund budget; provide appropriation for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence; provide for a 2% raise for state employees; further define additional types of foster family homes; and establish a State Seal of Biliteracy for graduates with the proficiency in English and at least one world language, including American sign language. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved House passed bills to: establish the Alabama State of Emergency Consumer Protection Act; require the Emergency Management Agency to develop guidelines for the volunteer designation of safer place facilities throughout the state to protect individuals during severe weather events; and to allow the governing body of certain municipalities to set compensation for members of utility boards. The Senate passed several bills of local application only and a general bill to further provide when juvenile law enforcement records may be released. They debated at length a bill to provide for a lottery and gaming in the state, but the measure failed to get the 21 votes required for passage.
  • Wednesday, March 10 (a committee day): The House State Government Committee approved a bill to require a county health officer to obtain written approval from the State Health Officer before issuing an order addressing a pandemic. The House Education Policy Committee approved bills to: establish learning opportunities outside of typical K-12 classroom for credit; authorize the broadcast of public K-12 school sporting events; and require local boards of education and superintendents to establish online learning in certain circumstances during school closures. The House Judiciary Committee approved a senate passed bill to require the sales of land for taxes be conducted on premises of or within the courthouse or courthouse annex. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved a bill to exempt Airport Authorities from sales and use tax. The Senate Education Policy Committee approved a bill to authorize the broadcast of public K-12 school sporting events.
  • Thursday, March 11 (14th legislative day): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to: authorize local boards of education to offer yoga in grades K-12; authorize municipalities to use electronic records and signature in the conduct of its affairs; further provide regulation and operation of motor vehicles and electric bicycles; and further provide for security of the State House by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The Senate passed several bills of local application only and general bills to: revise the membership of the Employees’ Retirement System Board of Control; further provide for granting eminent domain relating to public lands and rights-of-way; and to provide credit for inmates’ time served in local jails awaiting transfer to the Department of Correction.
The House and Senate reconvene on Tuesday, March 16 at 1 and 3 pm respectively.

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