LWVAL logo Monitored Legislation 2009
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Bills below are of interest to LWVAL, and their progress is being monitored. The League does not have a position on these bills unless noted. (FYI, bills that are supported or opposed by the League are included in the list, but in those cases the League's position is noted.)

To find out more about a particular bill, go to ALISON, click on "Bills", then "Status". Enter the bill's number (e.g. HB73) and click "Get Status". In the next window, highlight the bill's button and then click on the information of interest in the top menu bar, e.g. History, Sponsors, Fiscal Notes, Amds/Sub, or View.

Tier I

Tier III


Ban on PAC to PAC Transfers
A Tier I Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

LWVAL supports HB154 and SB207

Note:  SB207 has been moved this week from the monitored list to supported under "Ban on PAC-to-PAC Transfers &  Other Campaign Finance Law".

No bills monitored at this time other than bills above supported.
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Tax Reform, including ending sales tax on groceries
A Tier I Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

Monitoring HB16, HB53, and SB6. These bills provide for various adjustments in the Homestead Exemption on ad valorem taxes.

HB16 provides for a review and adjustment of homestead exemptions based on the keep them in line with the larger economic picture.

HB53 increases the homestead exemption across the board by 6%.

SB6 removes ad valorem taxes on the home of any home owner with an annual income of less than $15,000. Current limit is $7000.

Monitoring HB79 sponsored by Representative Bentley, referred to House Committee on Education Appropriations.

A Constitutional Amendment to repeal Amendment 225. Bill limits deduction of federal income tax on Alabama state tax returns for tax years beginning after December 31, 2009.  Federal deduction is allowed for those earning $50,000 or less in adjusted gross income if single or single head of family and $100,000 or less for married taxpayers. Above these amounts federal deductions are reduced by 1% for each $1,500 in income. Payments made to a retiree or designated beneficiary under a defined contribution plan, as defined in Section 414 (i) of the Internal Revenue Code are exempted from income taxation. 

Beginning January 1, 2009, state sales and use tax rates on the sale of food reduced to not more than 2%; defines food as defined in the Federal Food Stamp Act, 7 U.S.C. 2011, et seq.  Local governments may continue their sales taxes on food.

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Constitutional Reform & Constitutional Convention
A Tier I Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

Monitoring HB77 sponsored by Rep. DeMarco, referred to House Committee on Constitution & Elections (House C&E). 2/26/09 pending 3rd read. Favorable from C&E.

A Constitutional amendment replacing current language with language specifying that the Legislature, by general law only, may pass laws under which corporations and other entities may be organized, dissolved, and regulated and that the Legislature shall provide for the payment of a tax on the privilege of doing business or being organized, incorporated, qualified, or registered under the laws of Alabama. Moves content of Section 236 to 240 specifying that a stockholder in a corporation cannot be individually liable for more than the unpaid stock owned by that stockholder.

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Government Transparency & Accountability

A Tier I Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

LWVAL supports HB73.

Monitoring HB2 (applies to House), HB9 (applies to both House and Senate) and HB3 (applies to Senate) sponsored by Representative Mitchell, referred House Committee on Internal Affairs. 

Clerks of the House and Secretary of the Senate to establish procedures to compile, index and maintain records including, but not limited to, the following:  verbatim copy of committee meetings, committee reports, committee votes, floor debate, discussions during public hearings, insertion of statements into the record by individual members as to why the member voted for or against an instrument or took a particular action, and insertion of other materials upon the request of a member

The legislative record may be included in the journal, a separate publication, or in digital or computer form.  The record is to be modeled on the US Congressional Record.  It should be published after the session or may be published at shorter intervals.

Factors to be considered include effectiveness and feasibility, accessibility, usefulness, accuracy, ability to fulfill historical preservation.

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Ethics in Government 

A Tier I Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

LWVAL supports HB76, HB262 and SB177, HB582, HB594, and SB250. LWVAL opposes SB238 / SB298.

Monitoring HB235 sponsored by Representative Gipson,
referred to House Committee on the Judiciary.

This bill would substantially revise the Ethics Law; to require reporting of specific amounts, not categories on the statement of economic interests, reduce the period for amending the financial disclosure form from 90 days to 30 days, provide further for the appointment and confirmation of members of the Ethics Commission, grant the commission subpoena power, allow three members of the commission to institute a complaint, delete the requirement of actual knowledge prior to investigating a complaint, reduce the amount allowed for lobbyist spending from $250 a day to $25 a day with an annual cap of $500, and prohibit a lobbyist convicted of an ethical violation from continuing to serve as a lobbyist.

Monitoring SB419 sponsored by Senators Butler, Orr, Mitchell, and Preuitt. Read for the first time 2/19/09 and referred to the Senate committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections.

[Companion legislation to original HB582, supported by LWVAL.]

These two bills are companion legislation.

Summary: Ethics law, substantially altered, statement of economic interests, categories revised, Ethics Commission, appointment and confirmation of members, complaints further provided for, definition of lobbying, family members of public employees, personal gain, confidential information, filing of electronic reports, mandatory ethics training.

Monitoring HB652 sponsored by McMillan, Davis, Faust, Baker (A), Shiver, Barton, Gaston and Ball. First read 3/3/09.

This bill would provide that the annual appropriation to the State Ethics Commission shall be in an amount equal to not less than one tenth of one percent of the total General fund Budget.

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Voting Access & Practices

A Tier II Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

LWVAL supports HB38, HB55 and SB99, HB72, HB140, HB161, HB283 and SB205, SB145, and SB206.

Monitoring SB75 sponsored by Senator Mitchell, referred to Senate Committee on Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections (Senate C&E).

Synopsis:  Under existing law, write-in votes are permitted only in non-municipal general elections.  This bill would require that in order to have a write-in vote counted, the voter must write the name on the ballot and register the vote by a mark in the space designated for that particular office.  
    This bill would require that a write-in candidate be registered with the Secretary of State or the judge of probate as an official write-in candidate and comply with the provisions of the Fair Campaign Practices Act and the State Ethics Law in order for votes for the candidate to be counted.

Monitoring HB279 sponsored by Representative Ball and 16 others, referred to House Committee on Constitution and Elections (House C&E).

Synopsis: Under existing law, the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 may be amended by the Legislature submitting a proposed constitutional amendment for ratification or rejection by the people which becomes effective upon ratification and proclamation. Laws must be enacted by the Legislature and generally become effective upon enactment or at a later date provided by the
statute.   This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to provide that the people also may propose the enactment of general laws and constitutional amendments by an initiative measure subject to the same limitations imposed on the Legislature and that the Legislature may offer an alternate proposal.

HB436, substitute 11432-3 sponsored by Representative Martin. Gipson, Canfield, Vance, McClendon, Hill, Treadaway, Guin, Morrow, Keahey, Barton, Lindsey.  4/16/09 2nd read. Substitute placed on calendar pending 3rd read and favorable.

Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, established, crimes which disqualify citizens from voting provided . . . .

Monitoring HB759 sponsored by Representative Kennedy. 3/26/09 1st read and sent to CE.

Moral turpitude defined, convicted felons involving moral turpitude, automatic restoration of voting rights upon discharge from correctional institution, legislative oversight committee established, duties to Sec. of State, retroactive effect . . .

Monitoring HB812 sponsored by Representative Lewis. 4/2/09  1st read and sent to CE.

Voting, registration by convicted felons, felon may register to vote only if all conditions of sentencing are fulfilled and he or she is pardoned by Pardons and Paroles Board, assisting unqualified felon to register to vote, prohibited, criminal penalties.

Monitoring HB973 sponsored by Representative Canfield. 4/30/09  1st read and sent to CE.

Bill would propose an amendment to Amendment 579 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 177 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, to provide that the right of individuals to vote for public office, public votes on referenda, or votes of employee representation by secret ballot is fundamental.

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Judicial Qualifications & Selection

A Tier II Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

LWVAL supports HB66 and SB28, and SB100.

Monitoring HB548 sponsored by Representative McLaughlin. 02/17/2009 read for the first time and referred to the House Committee on Constitution and Elections (House C&E).
Establishes nonpartisan election for judges.

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Natural Resources

A Tier II Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

Monitoring HB13 sponsored by Representative Mitchell, referred to House Committee on Commerce.

 This bill would require the department to identify environmental high impact areas on a county basis and compile data regarding toxic pollutants released into the environment, and publish for public comment certain assessment methods and calculations for releases of toxic chemicals.  The bill would require the State Health Officer to issue a public report on the incidences of diseases, based on counties, which assesses health risks posed by releases of toxic substances.  The director of the department would provide grants to monitor and respond to adverse health risks identified by the county assessment, and would be authorized to hold public hearings. 
    The department would be required to adopt regulations to require the preparation of community impact statements by independent contractors as a part of the permitting process for any new or expanded facility that handles toxic pollutants and set certain criteria for community impact statements regarding types of chemicals, projected negative effects, alternatives for mitigating negative health impact, and community demographics.
    The bill would create the Community-Based Environmental Cleanup, Health Testing and Remediation Trust Fund and a special loan program for remediation projects.
    The bill would authorize community environmental resource centers and local programs of independent experts to conduct monitoring of local facilities to insure compliance with state and federal laws.
    The bill would prohibit the permitting of any new facility handling toxic pollutants within 10 miles of any such existing facility, unless waived based on certain local considerations.  The bill would provide for a moratorium against new facilities in high impact areas, unless waived.
    Community impact study grants and special insurance programs would be available for high impact areas. The department would be required to assist local communities to enter clawback agreements to reimburse incentives under certain conditions.

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Public Transportation

A Tier II Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

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Health Care Issues

A Tier III Legislative Priority for the LWVAL in 2009

Monitoring HB48, Rep. Bentley. Prefilled 2/3/09. Referred to House Committee on Banking & Insurance.
Nursing homes, long-term care insurance policy, canceling or increasing premium, prohibited.

HB33, Rep. Owen, is not addressed by League positions. Posted here for public information only. Prefilled 2/3/09. Referred to House Committee on Public Safety. 2/17/09 HB33 passed the House (95-0), Sent to Senate, sent to Gov't Affairs Committee. 3/5/09 Substitute 109095-2 accepted and passed (27-0).
Emergency Missing Senior Citizen Alert Act established, duties to Public Safety Department, Emergency Missing Senior Citizen Alert Act.  

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