Legislative Update: Week 2 (Feb. 11-13)
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Condolences for two legislators and a Teen Eagle family
2. Status of bills we’re watching
3. EF in the media
This was a sad week for Alabama legislators and Eagle Forum as we grieve the sudden loss of Rep. Terri Collins, husband, Tom, and mourn the sudden loss of 15 year old Matthew Cleghorn, a sibling of two of our Montgomery area Teen Eagles. Rep. Jim Carns lost his wife who was also his high school sweetheart the week before the session began. Please keep all three families in your prayers.
Gender Is Real Legislative Act (GIRL Act)
SPONSOR: Rep Chris Pringle Read HB35.
DESCRIPTION: This bill would provide that public K-12 schools may not participate in, sponsor, or provide coaching staff for interscholastic athletic events at which athletes are allowed to participate in competition against athletes who are of a different biological gender, unless the event specifically includes both biological sexes.
STATUS: This bill had a public hearing on 2/13/20 however there was no motion to vote on it. It is expected to be up for a vote on Wednesday 2/19/20 at 3:00PM in room 206 (State Government Committee).
EF’s POSITION: We support this bill.
ACTION: Call the House State Government Committee members and ask them to support this important bill that protects women.
SPONSOR: Sen. Tim Melson Read SB165
DESCRIPTION: This bill would authorize certain residents of this state diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and designated caregivers to be registered and obtain a medical cannabis card, thereby authorizing the patient to use cannabis for medical use. This bill would establish the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, establish and administer a patient registry system; issue medical cannabis cards; issue licenses for the cultivating, processing, dispensing,transporting, and testing of medical cannabis; adopt rules; impose restrictions on licensee activity; and generally regulate, administer, and enforce a medical cannabis program in the state.
STATUS: The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Wednesday 2/19/20 at 8:30am in room 325.
EF’s POSITION: We oppose this bill. Here is a link to more marijuana information from our national Eagle Forum website. View marijuana flier here. See the AL Attorney General’s letter to lawmakers to oppose Medical Marijuana:
ACTION: Call the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “NO” on this bill.
MANDATORY IMMUNIZATION DATABASE
DESCRIPTION: This bill would require health care providers to report vaccines administered to the immunization registry and would require health care providers to review the registry before a vaccine is administered unless the health care provider has a bi-directional interface with the registry.
STATUS: The House Health Committee will hold a public hearing on this bill on Wednesday, 2/19/20 at 10:30am in room 206.
EAGLE FORUM POSITION: We do not view this bill as a “Vax” vs. “Antivax” bill. Our issues lie with (1.) the inability to opt out and (2.) that patient information will be shared from the AL Department of Public Health which is not required to comply with HIPPAA guidelines in the way they collect, monitor and use patient private health information. Additionally, (3.) the types of personally identifiable information that would be collected is outside the scope of what we are comfortable with.
ACTION: Contact House Health Committee members and ask them to vote “NO”.
MORE INFO: For a detailed breakdown of this bill you can view these links: Keep Your Politics Out Of Our Healthcare: Update on SB56 and Spotlight on HB103: Immunization Tracking Bill.
BANNING FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
SPONSOR: Rep. Laura Hall Read HB53
DESCRIPTION: Relating to crimes and offenses; to establish the crime of female genital mutilation.
STATUS: Rep. Laura Hall’s HB53 prohibiting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and making it a Class B felony was amended in committee and passed on the House floor on Thursday. View the roll call vote here. Rep. Rod Scott who has introduced a bill prohibiting FGM over the past few sessions, also making it a Class B felony, has introduced his bill HB170 which is still in committee.
EAGLE FORUM POSITION: We are supportive of prohibiting this atrocity and will follow these bills and make the necessary contacts along the way.
RESOLUTION: PORNOGRAPHY AS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
The resolution declaring Pornography as a Public Health Crisis passed the Senate on the first day of the session. After its passage, reporter Kyle Whitmire from AL.com wrote a disparaging piece about it. His article spurred several people to write articles is support.
Yellowhammer: State Rep. Garrett: Pornography is a public health crisis
AL.com: Yes, pornography is indeed a public health emergency
AL.com: Alabama’s resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis is urgently needed
Avemariaradio.net: Listen to this excellent interview with Melea Stephens, Birmingham Marriage and Family Counselor and board member of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, as she explains why pornography IS a public health crisis. (Interview is from 17:40 min-35:00)
The sponsors of the Senate and House resolutions will be on Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal Friday night at 7:30 discussing this important issue. We encourage you to watch the episode. The resolution will be brought to the House floor in the near future and we will keep you posted.
Eagle Forum Participated in a Lottery Town Hall on ABC 33/40
Click picture to watch.
This Town Hall: Your Voice Your Future program focused on why Alabama is the only southern state now without a lottery, what it would take to make the change, and how current laws and politics factor into the current status. It’s a complicated matter and this panel explains the intricacies as well as the pros and cons for our state. Eagle Forum has always opposed a statewide lottery.
Listen to Eagle Forum’s Executive Director, Becky Gerritson discuss highlights from week 2 of the AL Legislative Session with Tactics Radio host, Caleb Colquitt. (Click on the picture to listen. The clip is from 0:00-27:00.
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