RPAC Montgomery Update: March 12

The Legislature will be on a scheduled break this week but will return to begin its 16th legislative day (out of 30) on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 with the House convening at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 2 p.m.

During the Week

GAMING: The Senate substituted, amended, and ultimately passed, new versions of HB151 and HB152 by Chris Blackshear that addresses gaming in Alabama. The Senate removed casino gaming and sports betting from the House versions, leaving only a lottery and a state compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The Constitutional Amendment would need to be approved by voters in a special election on September 10 for the bills to be effective. The bills now return to the House for action on the Senate changes.

 

IVF: Governor Ivey signed SB159 by Senator Tim Melson providing certain immunity from criminal and civil liability for in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics, patients, providing certain immunity for providers of goods and transport of products used for the procedure, and certain retroactive effect. (Act No. 2024-20).

 

EDUCATION: Governor Ivey signed HB129 by Representative Danny Garrett, commonly referred to as the CHOOSE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Our Students Education) Act, to create Education Saving Accounts which would offer tax credits up to $7,000 per year available to eligible parents to be used for private education, home schooling, or other education purposes, and make an annual appropriation of not less than $100 million from the Education Trust Fund for these accounts (Act No. 2024-21).

Notable Floor Action this Week

HOUSE
HB196 by Rep. Ingram: To authorize the Land Commissioner to contract with an online auction company to sell tax-delinquent property in the state’s inventory which has passed the three-year administrative redemption period (As amended).

 

SENATE
HB151 by Rep. Blackshear: A proposed Constitutional Amendment to authorize an official state lottery, and provide for a state compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (As substituted and amended).
HB152 by Rep. Blackshear: To establish the Alabama Gaming Commission, provide for the creation and operation of a state lottery, provide for the distribution of the various fees and taxes collected, and establish a state compact with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (as substituted and amended).
SB31 by Sen. Waggoner: To define the purpose of the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program, change the administrator of the program to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, more specifically define eligible institutions to which loans shall be made, and establish certain terms and conditions of loans to eligible institutions (As amended and substituted).

Notable Committee Action This Week

HOUSE
HB8 by Rep. Brown: To require insurers to provide at least 90 days written notice of a property insurance policy cancellation, nonrenewal, or coverage restriction (Amended in House Insurance Committee).
HB73 by Phillip Pettus: To provide for a cap on real property tax assessments under certain conditions (Substituted in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
HB220 by Rep. Ellis: To establish the Alabama Tourism Tax Protection Act of 2024, to provide that an accommodations intermediary shall collect the tax imposed on the charge for such room, rooms, lodgings, or accommodations, including the charge for use or rental of personal property and services furnished in such room (Substituted in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).
HB226 by Rep. Almond: To further provide for the procedures for an aggrieved party to file an appeal of the final decision of a municipal zoning board of adjustment in the circuit court, require a notice of appeal to be filed within 15 days after the final decision to the board and for an appeal to circuit court to be filed within 30 days after the final decision of the board, and provide for the decision of the board to remain in effect during an appeal, unless the circuit court grants a stay (Amended in House Judiciary Committee).
HB230 by Rep. Wilcox: To remove the requirement that corporations authorized to transact business in the state provide an annual report to the Secretary of State (Amended in House State Government Committee).
HB236 by Rep. Rafferty: To exempt the purchase of certain baby supplies, baby formula, maternity clothing, and menstrual hygiene products for personal use from the state portion of sales and use tax, and to authorize counties and municipalities to adopt exemptions for these items (Amended in House Ways and Means Education Committee).

Notable Introductions This Week

HOUSE
HB279 by Rep. Daniels: To provide that individuals have the right to use contraception, health care providers have the right to dispense contraceptive devices, and to prohibit the state and political subdivisions from enforcing any law that would interfere with the distribution and use of contraceptives (Assigned to House Judiciary).
HB282 by Rep. Shirey: To exempt the gross proceeds from the sale of optical aids, including eyeglasses and contact lenses, from state sales and use tax (Assigned to House Ways and Means Education Committee).
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HB309 by Rep. Shaver: To provide certain state employees with eight weeks of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child (Assigned to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee).