Things are moving right along in Montgomery. Last Tuesday, the Alabama House passed the Education Budget (HB123)–that’s the earliest a budget’s been passed in a very long time. The Senate passed bills:
- prohibiting gassing as a method of euthanasia for cats and dogs (SB172),
- allowing for election expense reimbursement from the state (SB139),
- creating a crime of threatening harm or violence against a judicial system officer or employee (SB146), and
- creating the crime of filing a false lien against a public officer or employee (SB197),
Wednesday was a busy day in committee. Several good pieces of legislation passed out including:
- HB25 Rep. Paul DeMarco’s Fiscal Transparency Act which will improve the state’s Open Alabama website by requiring the Finance Department to post monthly financial reports.
- HB427 Rep. Paul DeMarco’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights which will enhance the protections taxpayers have against tax assessments handed down by the state.
- SB196 Sen. Paul Bussman’s Alabama Children and Families Act which will change the presumption in child custody cases where two fit parents are involved to a 50/50 split.
Also on Wednesday, there was a very contentious public hearing on Sen. Trip Pittman’s proposed Teacher Tenure Reform (SB310).
Yesterday, the House passed the controversial Forever Wild reauthorization (HB126). They also debated HB6 which is Rep. John Merrill’s bill to lower the mandatory school age from 7 to 6 years of age. Due to some Republican dissent, Rep. Merrill carried his bill over and a vote wasn’t taken. Eagle Forum is strongly opposed to this legislation because we believe parents should retain the right to decide if their 6-year-old son or daughter is ready for first grade. The House also passed HB230 which creates income tax credits for employers who create jobs.
The Alabama Senate spent most of Thursday working on Sunset Laws.