This Week In The Alabama Legislature

Things are rolling along in the Alabama Legislature which is now into the fourth week of the 2012 session.  This week, the House passed a bill (HB243) to increase incentives used to lure the film and television production industry to Alabama.  The goal is to make Alabama more competitive with our neighboring states Georgia, Florida and Louisiana in attracting the film industry.

Also passed by the House were two bills by Representative Jay Love.  The first rewards teachers for obtaining national board certification by giving them a $5000 supplemental salary bonus.  The second bill ends the dispute over whether overtime counts as earnable compensation when computing retirement benefits.  The answer:  Yes.  Overtime does count as earnable compensation for the purpose of calculating retirement.  The legislation initially applied only to state law enforcement officers, but was amended in committee to apply to all members of the Employee Retirement Systems.

On Wednesday, several good bills got out of committee including:

Senator Cam Ward’s SB84 which prohibits the use of foreign law to violate the rights of U.S. citizens.

Representative Blaine Galliher’s HB133 which allows students in public schools to receive credit for faith-based courses conducted off-campus.

Senator Cam Ward’s SB105 which authorizes health care providers to decline to perform services that violate their conscience.

At least one bad bill was killed in committee–SB260 by Senator Paul Sanford–which would have significantly weakened the immigration bill by removing the requirement that employers use e-Verify.  In addition, it would have repealed the requirement that individuals show a valid ID to renew car tags and driver’s and other licenses.

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2012 session of the Alabama Legislature!