Here’s a round-up of the bills that passed the Alabama Legislature this week.
Tuesday, May 9
SB 287, sponsored by Sen. Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, establishes the qualifications and continuing education requirements for the sheriff in Mobile County. The bill passed 30-0. It goes to the House of Representatives.
SB 288, sponsored by Sen. Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, increases the salary and voids the expense allowance for the Mobile County sheriff. The bill passed 30-0. It goes to the House of Representatives.
SB 222, sponsored by Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, relates to the Contract Review Committee; allows the Attorney General to redact certain professional service contracts; changes the beginning of the first legislative session after an election, and provides for property acquisition, possibly for a new state house. The bill passed 88-9. The Senate concurred in an amendment to the bill on Thursday, sending it to Gov. Kay Ivey.
SB 204, sponsored by Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, codifies laws passed in special sessions in 2021 and 2022, and in the 2022 regular session. The bill passed 100-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
SB 27, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, would allow the board of directors of an agricultural authority to appoint emeritus members to serve as “goodwill ambassadors of the board.” It passed 101-1. The Senate concurred in an amendment to the bill on Thursday, sending it to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 348, sponsored by David Faulker, R-Mountain Brook, proposes changes to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) by adopting the Uniform Commercial Code Amendments (2022). The amendments would create a new UCC article that deals with the transfer of property rights for some digital assets, specifically controllable electronic records and electronic payment rights. The bill passed 100-0. It goes to the Senate.
HB 378, sponsored by Rep. Chip Brown, R-Hollingers Island, would provide potentially responsible parties with limitations of liability with respect to a brownfield site, or properties which may have presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. The bill passed 92-0. It goes to the Senate.
SB 228, sponsored by Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook, would require real estate buyers who enter a closing contract to make disclosures to homeowners and other interested parties that the buyer intends to find a interested purchaser willing to pay a higher price for the property and charges a fee to the subsequent purchaser. The bill passed 102-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 253, sponsored by Rep. Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, would allow the Alabama Historical Commission to aggregate up to $40 million in tax credits each year. The bill passed 102-0. It goes to the Senate.
SB 183, sponsored by Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, would exclude “consideration of a motor carrier’s use of safety improvements, technologies, practices, and driver coaching in determining a motor carrier driver’s classification as an independent contractor or an employee under state law.” The bill passed 101-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 122, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, would prohibit discrimination against an individual with a disability in receiving an anatomical gift or organ transplant based on his or her disability. The bill passed 101-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 136, sponsored by Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, would increase the expense allowance and mileage reimbursement paid to jurors by order or rule. The bill passed 100-0. It goes to the Senate.
HB 381, sponsored by Rep. Kelvin Lawrence, D-Hayneville, would provide that a member of a board of directors of a redevelopment authority for any city may be a property owner in the city’s redevelopment district. The bill passed 101-0. It goes to the Senate.
HB 137, sponsored by Rep. A.J. McCampbell, D-Linden, would provide an exemption from state, county, and municipal sales and use taxes for the Black Belt Regional Child Advocacy Center in Marengo County. The bill passed 102-0. It goes to the Senate.
SB 167, sponsored by Sen. Josh Carnley, R-Enterprise, allows health insurers to communicate electronically. The bill passed 103-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 220, sponsored by Rep. Corley Ellis, R-Columbiana, would increase the number of working days that the Shelby County Board of Registrars may meet each week. The bill passed 103-0. It goes to the Senate.
SB 155, sponsored by Sen. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, changes medical residency requirements for postgraduates of unaccredited medical colleges from three years to two. The bill passed on a 103-0 vote. The Senate concurred in House changes on Thursday, sending the bill to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 379, sponsored by Rep. Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle, would prohibit Chinese citizens, the Chinese government, or Chinese entities from acquiring real property in the state. The bill passed 73-23. It goes to the Senate.
HB 349, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, would further the scope of practice of optometry in the state. The bill passed 78-6. It goes to the Senate.
HB 358, sponsored by Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Leesburg, would establish a boating violation as a criminal offense. The bill passed 97-0 vote. It goes to the Senate.
HB 287, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, authorizes the State Industrial Development Authority to make site assessment grants and site development grants to certain companies. The bill passed 105-0. It goes to the Senate.
HB 161, sponsored by Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, would authorize the Insurance Department to post notice of hearings for the consideration of matters which would otherwise require separate notices to more than 50 persons on a website maintained by the department. The House approved Senate changes on a 99-1 vote. The bill goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
Thursday, May 11
SB 196, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, requires public agencies to acknowledge and grant or deny open records requests within a certain time period. The bill passed 33-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 39, sponsored by Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Gurley, creates three new circuit judgeships in the 23rd Circuit (Madison County), the 28th (Baldwin County) and the 19th (Autauga, Chilton and Elmore counties) as well as district judgeships. The bill passed 33-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 159, sponsored by Sen. Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, creates a rebuttable presumption in lawsuits against governments and road and bridge contractors that alleged injuries, deaths or damages caused by texting, drunk driving or speeding were the fault of vehicle operators, and requires complaints in those situations to be detailed on dates, times and events. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 118, sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, validates any municipal annexation that took place after May 4, 2011, regardless of irregularities or defects in the procedures. The bill does not include annexations ruled invalid by state courts. The bill passed 21-8. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 279, sponsored by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, would remove a requirement that the salaries of elected school superintendents be set before the start of a term, and make the change retroactive to July 1, 2021. The bill passed 32-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 198, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, adds offenses that fall under presumptive sentencing guidelines; modifies penalties for criminal solicitation, attempt and criminal conspiracy, and gives judges discretion in sentencing people convicted of Class C or D felonies. The bill passed 33-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 235, sponsored by Sen. Dan Roberts, R-Mountain Brook, allows doctors and trainers with out-of-state licenses to provide services for the 2025 World Police and Fire Games in Birmingham, if they are credentialed for the event. The bill passed 33-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 206, sponsored by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Prattville, creates a new crime of retail theft, with punishments ranging up to 20 years in prison. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 193, sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, allows the Board of Dental Examiners to deny licenses to dentists and dental hygienists due to public interest or public safety; allows fines for disciplinary actions and adds requirements for examiners inspecting facilities that administer anesthesia or sedation. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 184, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, allows the Alabama Department of Corrections to “expend funds appropriated for the purpose of recruitment materials and training of law enforcement officers and support staff, educating the public, and promoting the department’s mission.” The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
HB 45, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika, requires the Alabama State Board of Education to develop policies to inform parents and educators about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in student athletes; requires coaches to complete SCA training every two years and allows the removal of athletes who may show symptoms of SCA. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to Gov. Kay Ivey.
SB 158, sponsored by Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Josephine, would require probate judges to inform the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) about people involuntarily committed for outpatient treatment and require ALEA to enter the person in the state firearms prohibited person database. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
HB 13, sponsored by Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, would allow municipalities to authorize law enforcement officers to issue summons and complaints in lieu of making arrests for certain offenses. The bill passed 34-0 with an amendment, and goes back to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 258, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, allows the Alabama Department of Public Examiners to make one-time audits on certain nonprofits that provide water service to their members or the public. The bill passed 34-0. It goes to the Alabama House of Representatives.
HB 179, sponsored by Rep. James Lomax, R-Huntsville, authorizes the creation of distinctive license plates for emergency medical service providers and directs funds to the Alabama Association of Ambulance Services and the Alabama Emergency Medical Services Association. The bill passed 34-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 314, sponsored by Rep. Phillip Rigsby, R-Huntsville, allows pharmacists to issue the smallest dispensable package sizes for refill requests if they are unable to obtain refill authorization from a health care provider. The bill passed 34-0.It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
SB 285, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, allows nonprofits to host or sponsor wine festivals. The bill passed 34-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
SB 94, sponsored by Sen. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, transfers juvenile probation services in Shelby County to the state court system. The bill passed 33-0. It moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.
HB 342, sponsored by Rep. Susan DuBose, R-Hoover, provides additional requirements for programs to alternative teacher preparation programs and teacher certification. The bill passed 83-20. It goes to the Senate.
SB 46, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, which creates a teacher mobility compact across state lines. The bill passed 102-0. It goes to Gov. Kay Ivey.
HB 334, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, would create the Students with Unique Needs (SUN) Education Scholarship Account Act and Program and allow parents to use funds in an education scholarship account to provide an individualized education program for their children. The bill passed 99-0. It goes to the Senate.
HB 363, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, would make changes to the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act and change the appointment process for the Alabama Public Charter School Commission, allows the commission to hire staff and requires commissioners to receive annual training. The bill passed 76-25. It goes to the Senate.
HB 315, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Starnes, R-Prattville, would expand eligibility for educational benefits to spouses of those who were killed while on active state duty status or whose death results as a result and within three years of an injury sustained while on state active duty status. The bill passed 103-0. It goes to the Senate.
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This article was reposted from Alabama Reflector with permission under a creative commons agreement. Read the original article: https://alabamareflector.com/2023/05/12/what-passed-in-the-alabama-legislature-may-9-11-2023/
Alander Rocha is a journalist based in Montgomery, and he reports on government, policy and healthcare. He previously worked for the Red & Black, Georgia's student newspaper, and Kaiser Health News, where he covered community health workers' successful efforts to vaccinate refugees in an Atlanta suburb. He is a Tulane and Georgia alumnus with a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.