3/26/2018 Group Watch: Data Breach Act Moving Ahead

The bill known as the Alabama Data Breach Notification Act passed the House on Thursday. The bill  imposes penalties for companies and organizations that are in possession of individuals’ personal information and that fail to notify said individuals when their systems have been breached and that information has been compromised.

March 19, 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Bills of all kinds keep rolling along, pretty much unimpeded, and last week, the Legislature passed local bills plus bilsl to provide funding for the Department of Corrections among other state agencies.
  • On Tuesday (19th day of session): The House passed several bills of local application only and general bills to provide civil immunity to persons providing transportation to healthcare providers without compensation; to provide that the threshold requirement for tax filing to be the sum of standard deduction and personal exemptions; to provide for the electronic filing of campaign finance reports; to create within the University of Alabama at Birmingham the Alabama Rural Hospital Resource Center; and to revise the definition of protected person in the Adult Protective Services Act. They also gave final passage of Senate-passed General fund appropriations, raises and one-time bonuses for active and retired state workers. The Senate passed a few bills of local application only and general bills to establish the filing requirement threshold to be the sum of standard deduction and to further definitions affecting land surveyors and engineers.
  • On Wednesday (a committee day): The House Urban and Rural Development Committee approved a Senate-passed bill to create within the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama Rural Hospital Resource Center. The House Boards, Agencies and Commissions Committee approved a Senate-passed bill relating to the Engineers and Land Surveyors Board.
  • On Thursday (20th day of session): The House passed a large number of bills with local application only and general bills to reform the Juvenile Justice System with a number of amendments and to authorize tax abatements for data processing centers be extended for five years. The Senate also passed bills of local application only and House-passed bills to require state regulation of church-based child care facilities; to provide supplemental appropriation to certain entities; and to fund public education in the state of Alabama.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

March 18
My son Harris and I are on top of the world for Spring Break! Well at least on top of NYC.


3/19/2018 Group Watch: Funding for Prison Improvements

On Tuesday, the Alabama House approved a general fund budget and supplemental appropriations for the current year that will provide additional money for the beleaguered Department of Corrections totaling $85 million. The Department will receive $30 million in new funding for the current fiscal year and $50 million for the next fiscal year, beginning in October. Last year, a federal court ruled that mental healthcare in Alabama’s prisons was inadequate and ordered the state to make improvements.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: Gov Ivey TV Ad

Last week, Governor Kay Ivey released her first television ad in her campaign to be elected governor. In the ad, the governor talks about having three hours to prepare to become governor after Robert Bentley resigned, saying she’s “steadied the ship.” Ivey became governor after Bentley plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges in connection with scandal that plagued his administration for more than a year. He was automatically removed from office when he entered the guilty plea.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: Ethics Law Clarifications

The  House passed a bill to clarify how legislators accept contracts under the state’s 2010 ethics law. The bill’s sponsor said his bill would require legislators to notify the Alabama Ethics Commission that they have entered into a consulting agreement in an area outside of their normal scope of work.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: Juvenile Detention Reforms Pass

Alabama lawmakers passed a bill they hope will keep low-level offenders out of state detention centers. The legislation as proposed aims to keep low-level offenders at home instead of in lock-up facilities by limiting the numbers of offenses that put juveniles in detention among the reforms. Critics worry about adequate funding and overburdening juvenile probation officers. Funding for the system has brought it under federal scrutiny in the past.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: State Oversight for Faith-Based Child Care

The Senate approved a House-passed bill dubbed the Child Care Safety Act that gives the state limited oversight over faith based daycare centers. The Senate voted 22-4 for the compromise legislation. Governor Ivey’s office said she will review the bill before making a decision on signing it into law. The bill requires faith-based daycare centers that receive any state or federal funds to get licensed by the state. It would also require exempt centers to submit proof of fire and safety inspections and background checks on workers.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: School Safety Task Force Back

Last week, the House voted 83-6 to reinstate The Alabama Task Force on School Safety and Security. Read more here.

3/19/2018 Group Watch: Fantasy Sports Bill Dies

It looks like legal fantasy sports in Alabama will remain a fantasy, at least for now. Even though it easily and swiftly moved out of the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee, SB325 was killed on the Senate floor last week before a vote was taken.The bill would have allowed fantasy sports companies to operate in Alabama with the state regulating the industry and receiving fees from it.

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