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April 26, 2021 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week’s political and issue-based announcements were a mixed bag of good news on some fronts and setbacks on others. A bright spot: the state’s education efforts got some positive recognition.

This session’s big-headline bills — gambling and medical marijuana —  are both staying alive, but now waiting for a vote in the House, which, according to House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, may not come up for another few weeks.

And Alabama is moving to join the ranks of other states, including several in the South, that have laws on the books to make Daylight-Savings Time permanent, if and when Congress votes to allow it.

Find details on all this and more below.

The House and Senate return on April 27 at 1 and 2 pm respectively.
Watch live video of both chambers here.

  • Tuesday, April 20 (24th legislative day): The House passed a few bills of local application only and Senate-passed bills to add a consumer member to the State Board of Respiratory Therapy and to further provide for contracts affecting engineers and other design professionals. It also passed bills to prohibit racial  profiling by law enforcement officers and to further provide for the collection of certain data and the sharing of the data.The Senate passed bills to: prohibit racial profiling by law enforcement officers; to further provide for the collection of certain data and the sharing of the data; and to further provide for community development districts and the deposit of sales tax proceeds. The Senate also approved House-passed bills relating to schedule II-controlled substances; to require hospitals to bill an injured person’s health insurance and only seek compensation from health insurance unless certain circumstances apply; and to require healthcare facilities to allow one caregiver or visitor to patients or residents, subject to reasonable restrictions.
  • Wednesday, April 21 (a committee day): The House Education Policy Committee approved bills to provide tax credits for contributions to scholarship granting organizations and to make an additional appointment to the board of trustees for the Community College System. The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved Senate-passed appropriation bills for public education, supplemental appropriations for certain agencies, salary incentives for math and science teachers and education appropriations for several non-state entities. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved House-passed bills to provide an education assistance program for children of military persons and to provide comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for children of disabled veterans with intellectual disabilities. The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved bills to create additional legislative oversight on contracts and agreements and to create the State Employee Retirees’ Trust Fund Funding Act to provide periodic bonus payments to retired state employees.
  • Thursday, April 22 (25th legislative day): The House passed a number of bills of local application only and general bills to implement the Alabama Innovation Corporation and to authorize the Innovate Alabama Matching Grant Program. It also gave final approval to the Digital Expansion Authority relating to broadband and connectivity. The Senate gave final approval to several House-passed bills of local application only and House-passed general bills to: further provide for the authority of the Board of Social Work examiners; authorize the Secretary of State to conduct a one-time post-election audit of vote count; apply penalties to persons voting more than once in any election to include elections held in another state; and revise the timeframe for applying to vote absentee.

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