AFA Legislative Update- Week 7

house chamberThe Alabama Legislature re-convened on Tuesday, April 21st for its 7th week of work for the 2015 Legislative Regular Session. Meeting on Tuesday and Thursday, the Legislature has now used up 16 of its allotted 30 legislative days. The House has introduced 557 bills and the Senate has introduced 416 bills.

The Legislature plans to re-convene Tuesday, April 28th and is supposed to work a normal two day week.

Bills of interest that AFA is following (note: italics indicate action that occurred this week):

Forestry/Agriculture:

SB203 (Orr)- Merges Alabama Forestry Commission into the newly named Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Services.

SB103 (Scofield)/HB217 (Boothe)- Removes limit on tags receiving a discount for farm vehicles. Senate version passed out of committee and received 2nd reading. House version was passed out of committee and is on the special order calendar for consideration by the full House on 3/31. Passed House and has received first reading in the Senate and assigned to the Finance & Taxation General Fund Committee.

SB127 (Whatley)/HB 188 (Lee)- Eliminates the sales tax on farm equipment. Currently the sales tax for farm equipment is 1.5%.

SB116 (Orr)- Creates felony crime and penalties for hunting on land without permission. Passed committee and received 2nd reading.

SB123 (Whatley)- Requires permit and $50 fee for game feeders. After testimony provided in support of the bill provided by Hank Williams, Jr, an amended version passed by Senate Ag Committee. The bill failed to receive approval before the full Senate. The bill was reconsidered and brought up again and was carried over.

SB354(Scofield)- Limits liability for trapping on public lands. Passed Senate Ag & Forestry Committee and received its second reading.

Fiscal Responsibility:

SB12 (Sanford)- Establishes Alabama Recurring Revenue Fund and distributes funds to GF and ETF proportionally. Allows GF to participate in growth tax revenues. AFA supports.

SB75 (Beasley)- Medicaid Expansion- AFA opposes.

SB115 (Orr)- State ABC Agency phase out. AFA supports. Bill failed in committee on a 6-7 vote. Bill was reconsidered and passed by the committee on a 12-2 voice vote.

SB98 (Ross)- Repeals Rolling Reserve Act. AFA opposes.

HB135 (Clouse)- General Fund Appropriations Bill. Both the Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund and House Ways & Means General Fund Committee chairman (Senator Arthur Orr and Representative Steve Clouse) distributed a proposed FY16 general fund appropriations bill draft that is 11% less than the FY15 appropriations. The proposed Alabama Forestry Commission appropriation is $1.7 million less than last year.

HB155 (Poole)/SB179 (Pittman)- Education Fund Appropriations Bill. Senate version passed committee. SB179 passed Senate, received its first reading in the House and has been assigned to Ways & Means Education Committee.

SB231 (Allen)- Creates Legacy Trust Fund for BP funds and other windfalls. Passed out of committee and received 2nd reading in the Senate.

SB248 (Pittman)- Constitutional Amendment- Rolling Reserve Act- AFA supports. Passed out of committee and received 2nd reading in the Senate.

SB281 (Holley)/HB330 (Boothe)- Rolling Reserve Act changes.

HB322 (Poole)- Rolling Reserve Act changes.

HB456 (Williams)- Requires audit of RSA. AFA Supports. Public hearing held in House Committee, no vote taken at this time.

HB490 (Clouse)- Suspends repayment to ATF for FY16. AFA opposes. Passed committee on voice vote.

SJR34 (Pittman)- Resolution advising to not expand Medicaid. AFA Supports. Referred to Senate Rules Committee. Passed Senate moves to House Rules Committee.

Revenue/Taxes:

HB139 (McMillan)- Tax increase on tobacco products. Part of Governor’s tax increase package.

HB142 (Hill)- Combined reporting for corporate income tax. Part of Governor’s tax increase package. AFA opposes.

HB183 (Shiver)- Monroe County excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. AFA opposes. Passed out of House and has been assigned to Senate Committee on Local Legislation #1. Public Hearing held in Monroeville on Monday, April 13th. Senator Albritton states publicly that he will not support the bill.

HB240 (Johnson)- Repeals withholding exemptions from state income taxes. Part of Governor’s tax increase package. Passed out of committee and awaits consideration before the full House.

HB267 (Clouse)- Increases the sales tax on leased autos to 4%. Part of Governor’s tax increase package.

HB268 (Clouse)- Increases the sales tax on purchase of autos to 3%. Part of Governor’s tax increase package.

SB227 (Singleton)/HB477(Knight)- Constitutional amendment to increase ad valorem taxes. AFA opposes.

HB471(Ford)- Constitutional Amendment to establish lottery to fund Medicaid.

HB472(Ford)- Constitutional Amendment to establish lottery to fund scholarships.

HB475(Knight)- Constitutional Amendment removing federal income taxes paid as an Alabama income tax deduction.

HB478(Knight)- Constitutional Amendment removing federal income taxes paid as an Alabama income tax deduction. Also does away with sales tax on food.

HB485(Melton)- Perry County Constitutional Amendment raising ad valorem taxes by 3 mills for the use of the county’s general fund. AFA opposes.

SB409 (Hightower)- Constitutional Amendment to institute flat tax for Income taxes and remove deductions.

Education:

SB45 (Marsh)/HB192 (Collins)- School Choice/Charter School Bill- Senate bill substituted in committee and has received its second reading. Senate passed the bill and it has been transmitted to the House where it now has cleared committee and has received its second reading. It is now in position for final passage. The House passed an amended version, returned it to the Senate where they concurred and sent to the Governor who signed it.

SB71 (Marsh)- Alabama Accountability Act amendments. Received a public hearing. It was voted out of committee and is being considered by the full Senate. Senate passed and has been referred to the House Ways & Means Education committee. Passed House Committee and received its second reading.

SB101 (Glover)/HB424(Fincher)- Repeals Common Core. Hearing held, no vote. SB101 passed committee.

HB270 (Ford)- Repeals Alabama Accountability Act. AFA Opposes.

Incentives/Job Creation:

HB57 (Beech)- Alabama Veterans and Rural Jobs Act. Part of Governor’s Incentives Package works in conjunction with HB58, The Alabama Jobs Act. Provides incentives to companies making capital investments and providing jobs in rural counties and to veterans. Passed committee and received second reading. Passed by the House and received its first reading in the Senate. Received a favorable report in Senate Committee and moves to full Senate. Passed by the Senate with amendments and now awaits House to concur on the changes. House concurred, pending Governor’s signature. Governor signed on 4/14.

HB58 (Baker)- Alabama Jobs Act. Part of Governor’s Incentive Package and repeals existing statutory capital investment incentives for new and expanding businesses and replaces with new incentives. Passed committee and received second reading. Passed the House and received its first reading in the Senate. Received a favorable report in Senate Committee and moves to full Senate. Passed Senate and awaits Governor’s signature. Governor has signed into law.

HB59 (Lee)- Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act gives tax incentives to companies that re-invest in their businesses and extends those incentives to potentially 20 years. Passed committee and received second reading. Passed the House and received its first reading in the Senate. Received a favorable report in Senate Committee and was then passed by the full Senate. Awaits Governor’s signature. Governor has signed into law.

General Governance:

SB55 (Pittman)- Restricts state agencies to amend rule-makings only once every 10 years.

SB57 (Pittman)- Term Limits, reported out of committee and received its second reading.

SB73 (Brewbaker)/HB78 (Ball) – Initiative and Referendum- AFA opposes.

SB80 (Ward)/HB110 (Williams)- Limits manufacturer liability. AFA supports. Senate version was reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee and received its 2nd reading. House version also passed the House Judiciary Committee and received its 2nd reading. Senate bill passed Senate and has been referred to House Judiciary. House bill passed House and has been referred to Senate Judiciary. House bill passed Senate Judiciary committee and awaits consideration before the full Senate. Senate bill passed House Judiciary and awaits final passage in House.

SB16 (Marsh)/HB193 (Davis)- Proposed constitutional amendment to allow statewide referendum to give counties limited home rule authority. AFA amended the bill in Senate committee and it now has been reported out and has had its second reading. The House version has also been passed through committee as amended. House version passed by the House now moves to the Senate. Received its first reading and assigned to the Senate Constitution & Elections Committee.

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