April 23, 2023 Group Watch: Senator Scofield Honored as “Guardian of Small Business”

State Senator Clay Schofield received the Guardian of the Small Business Award highlighting his work to expand broadband connectivity. Rosemary Elebash, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, described Senator Schofield as a strong advocate for small business who took the lead in working to expand broadband in rural Alabama. The award is given to legislators for their effort in aiding small business. The Senator has a 100-percent NFIB voting record since being elected in 2010.

April 24, 2023 Group Watch: Tuberville Sponsors “Protect Farmers” Legislation

Senator Tommy Tuberville, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, is cosponsoring a bill that will exempt family farmers from Securities and Exchange Commission requirements forcing farmers to report all operational Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions. The bill comes in response to a newly proposed rule from the SEC, which would force publicly traded companies to include various climate related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. This also includes farms that are outside of the SEC’s statutory authority. This legislation is supported by the Alabama Farmers Federation.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Last week in Alabama politics saw the state’s medical cannabis industry moving forward, with the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission working through 90 applications from those hoping to have a business that plays a part in the industry. 

In the legislature, bills to streamline adoption were passed by the Senate, and three of Governor Ivey’s “Game Plan” economic development bills were passed by the House. A bill to keep violent felons in prison longer is headed to the governor’s desk.

And, two Alabama automakers are making changes, one adding both facility space and jobs, and another, Toyota, making a big shift into solar power. 

Read more on these topics and other #alpolitics happenings below.

The House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, April 18 
at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. respectively.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

April 15
Britt, Brooks, Battle condemn Washington Examiner editorial calling Alabama a ‘reckless’ choice for Space Command HQ

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: Day-by-Day, Play-by-Play

On Tuesday (8th day of regular session): 

  • The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee approved several bills including bills to further provide for the authority to make emergency procurements and the review of those procurements by the Contract Review Legislative Oversight Committee and for the compensation of retired law enforcement officers providing services as school resources officers for local boards of education.
  • The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved a number of House-passed sunset bills including bills relating to the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors and the State Board of Registration of Architects.
  • The House passed bills including bills to prohibit certain motor vehicle speed contests and motor vehicle sideshows and to further provide for the threshold dollar amount for which competitive bidding is required. They also passed several bills of local application only and a Senate-passed bill limiting the consideration of incentive time for correctional inmates under certain circumstances.
  • The Senate passed several bills including bills to grant authority for greater control of price gouging during emergency situations and to provide alternative methods for the posting of certain public notices required by law.

On Wednesday (9th day of regular session):

  • The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved a bill to allow a detention facility to adopt a policy to further define what items constitute “contraband” for purposes of banning certain items from detention facilities.
  • The House Children and Senior Advocacy Committee approved a bill to create the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act and require the State Department of Education to adopt certain guidelines to drive the training and information sharing to appropriate persons.
  • The House Health Committee approved bills to prohibit the sale, distribution, marketing, or possession of psychoactive cannabinoids found in hemp for certain age groups and to allow a parent to opt his or her child out of policies requiring a face covering at certain locations in public K-12 schools.
  • The House Ways and Means Education Committee approved several bills relating to economic development including bills to increase the annualized cap on outstanding Alabama Jobs Act incentives; to authorize the State Industrial Development Authority to make site assessment grants and site development grants to certain companies; and to require the Department of Commerce to publish certain information regarding economic development incentives awarded under the Alabama Jobs Act.
  • The House Education Policy Committee approved a Senate-passed bill to expand the Alabama Safe Schools Act to include the training of certain school personnel to administer medication to students with an adrenal insufficiency no later than the beginning of the 2024-25 school year.
  • The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee approved bills to expand eligibility for educational benefits to spouses of those who were killed while on active duty in the military; and to revise the circumstances under which the Alabama Medicaid Agency may revise the ceiling for the Medicaid reimbursement rate to nursing facilities during a given fiscal year.

On Thursday (10th day of of regular session):

  • The House passed bills to extend the Alabama Jobs Act; authorized the State Industrial Development Authority to make site assessment grants and site development grants to certain companies; to require the Department of Commerce to publish certain information regarding economic development incentives awarded under the Alabama Jobs Acts; and to provide for a name change for the Alabama Innovation Corporation and further provide for support authorizations.
  • The Senate passed several bills, including bills to expand the membership of the Alabama Job Creation and Military Stability Commission; to extend professional license reciprocity to spouses of the United States Department of Defense civil servants; and to create the Alabama Minor Adoption Code and the Alabama Adult Adoption Code and to further provide for jurisdictional and procedural requirements to streamline the processes.

April 2017, 2023 Group Watch: Inmate “Good Time” Restriction Heads to Ivey

A bill that makes it tougher for dangerous inmates to be let out on “good time” is headed to the Governor. During a lengthy debate on the house floor, Rep. Russell Bedsole led his colleagues to passing the Deputy Brad Johnson Act. Senator April Weaver, who carried the bill in the Senate, said that prior to this bill, a violent inmate would only serve a third of their sentence before being eligible for parole. The bill passed 79-24 with numerous Democrats speaking against the bill.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: “Game Plan” Bill Winning

Four economic development bills aimed at enhancing efforts to recruit new industry and new business to Alabama are moving through the legislature fairly easily. The bills, called the “Game Plan” package by Governor Ivey, are enjoying broad support among both Republicans and Democrats. Read more here.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Reviewing 90 Applicants

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission voted to accept 90 applications as properly submitted by companies that intend to take part in the state’s new medical cannabis industry. The commission will begin reviewing the applications for cultivators, processors, dispensaries, secure transporters, testing labs and integrated licensees with multiple functions. The commission is scheduled to award licenses at its meeting on June 12. The state’s medical cannabis law placed limits on how many licenses they can issue in some categories. The commission accepted 12 applications for cultivators and will issue no more than 12; 11 applications were accepted for processors, but only 4 may be issued; 18 applications were accepted for dispensaries, and 4 licenses may be issued; 9 applications were accepted for secure transporters with no limit for the number of licensees; 2 applications were accepted for testing labs, with no limit on the number of licensees; 38 applications were accepted for integrated facilities, and 5 licenses may be issued. The enabling legislation allows the products to be pills, capsules, tinctures, gelatinous cubes, oils, cremes, patches, suppositories, nebulizers, and liquids or oils for an inhaler. No raw plant materials or products for smoking or eating will be allowed.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: AL Senate & House Play Charity Softball Game

Batter up! The two chambers of the Alabama Legislature face off in a charity softball game, dubbed The Battle of Goat Hill, this Wednesday, April 19 at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. The House takes on The Senate, and while the competition is expected to be intense, it’s all in fun, and it’s all to raise funds for a great cause: helping victims of the tornadoes and storms that ravaged the Black Belt earlier this year. Read morehere.

April 17, 2023 Group Watch: Alabama Lawmakers Hope to Heal Doc Shortage

In an effort to recruit more doctors to Alabama, legislators are introducing the Physician Workforce Act. The bill hopes to address a doctor shortage in the state; the shortage is related to high rates of doctors retiring as well as physician burnout. Read more here.

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