LWVAL Action Priority Level III - Issues identified by LWVAL Advocacy Committee and/or State Board or Local Leagues. Monitoring occurs; action dependent on opportunity and available resources.
Click a bill to see sponsor(s), summary (including link to full text), League action and justification for that action, and progress of the bill through the legislative process.
Legend: = LWVAL's support for the legislation. = LWVAL's opposition to the legislation. = new bill activity; change from previous week's report such as new progress in the legislature and/or League action. Bill may be one newly added to the report. These updates are in green font.
LWVAL has taken a position on these bills:
HB300 Constitutional Amendment - Personhood, defined to include humans from moment of fertilization, const. amend.
Sponsor(s): Representative Henry Summary/Synopsis: This would be a constitutional amendment to expand the definition of "person" to start at the moment of fertilization.
League Action and Justification: Oppose. LWV has a position in favor of reproductive freedom. Bill Progress in Legislature: 02/24/16: Read for the first time and referred to the House Committee on Health (HLTH).
04/13/2016: Read for the second time and placed on the calendar; Pending 3rd reading and Favorable from Health
04/28/2016: Indefinitely postponed.
SB363 - Abortion, Alabama Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, prohibits and punishes person performing unless necessary to prevent serious health risk to mother
Sponsor(s): Senator Williams Summary/Synopsis: This bill would prohibit "dismemberment abortion," which is described in great detail in the bill. The only exemption would be to avert the mother's death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, specifically not including psychological or emotional conditions.
League Action and Justification: Oppose This is a version of a bill that is currently being introduced in a number of state legislatures. The effort appears to be targeting a specific surgical abortion procedure known as Dilatation and Evacuation, or D&E. This type of abortion, which takes about 30 minutes to perform, has become the standard practice for terminating a pregnancy after 12 weeks. It involves dilating the cervix and using surgical instruments to remove the fetal and placental tissue. This is the method of second-trimester abortion that researchers from the World Health Organization endorse, and it’s now preferred by the vast majority of U.S. patients having terminations because it’s a simple outpatient procedure with a low risk of complications. League has a pro-choice position. ”The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices." This bill would limit a woman's control over her own body. Bill Progress in Legislature: 03/15/2016: First Reading and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services (HLTH). 04/20/2016: 2nd Read and placed on the Calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from HLTH 04/26/2016: 3rd Reading Carried Over to Call of the Chair; Williams Motion to Carry Over to the Call of the adopted by Voice Vote; 3rd Reading Passed; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted by Roll Call
04/27/2016: 2ND Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from Health
05/04/2016: 3rd Read Passed; Hall Amendment (178037-1) Offered; Butler motion to Table adopted by Roll Call; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass adopted by roll call; Signature Requested
Senate Action: 05/04/2016: Passed 2nd House; Enrolled; Delivered to Governor at 11:32 p.m. on May 4, 2016
LWVAL is monitoring these bills:
HB246 - Motor vehicles, distinctive license plates, stop domestic violence, distrib. of proceeds to district attorney office for prevention programs
Sponsor(s): Representatives Ledbetter, Whorton (R), Pettus, Wood, Blackshear, Fincher and Hanes
Summary/Synopsis: This bill would provide for the issuance of a distinctive Stop Domestic Violence license plate for an annual additional fee of $50 for the distinctive plate and would provide for distribution of the net proceeds from sale of the plate to the office of the district attorney for the county in which the plate was issued for the use and benefit of domestic violence prevention programs. This bill would also provide for the design of the plates.
03/03/2016: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar with 1 Substitute (174447-2); pending 3rd Read and Favorable from PS&HS with 1 Substitute; Public Safety and Homeland Security first Substitute Offered
03/23/2016: 3rd Reading Carried Over; Public Safety and Homeland Security first Substitute Offered (174447-2); Ledbetter motion to Carry Over Temporarily adopted Voice Vote; Third Reading Passed; Motion to Adopt PS&HS amendment adopted by Roll Call; Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted by Roll Call; Nordgren intended to vote "Yea"; Engrossed
League Action and Justification: Monitor LWVAL has not taken a position on usurious practices but many league members oppose payday lending as exploitation of vulnerable populations and basically an unfair business practice. Bill Progress in Legislature: 02/24/2016: First reading and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services (FS)
HB326/SB301 - Title loan lenders, licensure and regulation of, established, Alabama Title Loan Act
HB326 Sponsor(s): Representative Todd and numerous others SB301 Sponsor(s): Senator Orr Summary/Synopsis: This bill would require title loan lenders to be licensed and regulated by the state Banking Department (currently there is no such requirement) – maximum annual interest rates for these loans would be set, taking into account the borrowers’ ability to repay the loan - additionally it would prohibit the issuance of such loans to persons under the age of 19 and impose criminal penalties for lenders in violation of the requirements – only allows for one title loan on a motor vehicle
League Action and Justification: Monitor Currently, League has no formal position on lending practices but there are many members and the public who are concerned about the increasing number of such lenders and the high rates charged the most economically vulnerable members of the public. Bill Progress in Legislature: HB326 02/25/2016: First reading and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services (FS)
Sponsor(s): Representative Todd Summary/Synopsis: Under existing law, a license is required for any person engaged in the business of deferred presentment services. This bill would expand the licensure requirement for persons engaged in the business of deferred presentment services to include services offered by mail, telephone, Internet, mobile device application, or in person. This bill would increase the nonrefundable license fee and provide that one half of the increase would be paid to the State Banking Department and one half to the General Fund. This bill would provide that a person who attempts to evade the licensure requirement for the business of deferred presentment services would be guilty of a criminal offense and would provide penalties. This bill would further regulate the business of deferred presentment services by regulating the fees, interest, number of loans, term of a loan, finance charges, and repayment of a loan.
League Action and Justification: Monitor Currently, League has no formal position on lending practices but there are many members and the public who are concerned about the increasing number of such lenders and the high rates charged the most economically vulnerable members of the public. Bill Progress in Legislature: 02/25/2016: First Read and Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services (FS).
SB361 - Human Resources Dept., child abuse and neglect, mandatory reporting requirements, military status of parent or guardian to be determined, notification to United States Department of Defense family advocacy program, required, Sec. 26-14-3 am'd.
Sponsor(s): Representatives Holtzclaw, Dial, Williams, and Whatley Summary/Synopsys: This bill would add additional requirements for DHR in dealing with child abuse. DHR would be tasked finding out whether the parents of an allegedly abused child were affiliated with the military and then informing the appropriate military family advocacy unit of the investigation.
League Action and Justification: Monitor League supports laws to protect from abuse but has the following concerns about the bill.
DHR already has the power to do what this bill requires if warranted by the situation. By requiring this action, this bill removes the discretion that a professional social worker should have to address this issue and invites a heavy handed response. ▪ By requiring notification of an investigation whether or not the charges were considered substantiated, this bill may violates due process, invite speculation and gossip, and could wrongly damage the career of a military member or other adult. ▪ The wording of the bill just says “parent” but does not specify whether this is a step-parent or whether this is a legal parent (with their names on the child’s birth certificate) or if guardianships apply. ▪ The level of investigation and notification required represents an unfunded mandate for an already stressed state agency.
Bill Progress in Legislature: 03/16/2016: First Reading and referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services (H&HS). 04/07/2016: 2nd Read and placed on the calendar; pending 3rd Read and Favorable from H&HS 04/27/2016: 3rd Reading Passed; Motion to Read a 3rd Time and Pass Adopted by Roll Call
HB526 - Loans, regulate motor vehicle title loan, Secs. 5-27-1 to 5-27-28, inclusive, added
Sponsor(s): Representative Scott
Summary/Synopsis: This bill would create the Alabama Motor Vehicle Title Loan Act and require licensure by the State Banking Department for a person to act as a title loan lender; provide for the application for licensure; require a bond and a nonrefundable application and investigation fee; provide for inactive licenses, renewal and reactivation of licenses, a fee for the license, and for the denial, suspension, or revocation of licenses. It would specify acts which constitute violations for which certain disciplinary actions may be taken; provide for the imposition of fines and criminal penalties; and provide remedies for title loans made or serviced without proper licensure. The bill would establish requirements for a title loan agreement; provide for reclaiming a repossessed motor vehicle under certain circumstances; and provide payment of excess proceeds from a sale or disposal of a motor vehicle. The bill also would provide for title loan interest rates (an annual rate of interest that may not exceed 120 percent charged only upon principal balances outstanding with no charging of add-ons, compounding, deductions, or advance receipt); prohibit extensions; provide for return of principal and interest to the borrower under certain circumstances; and provide for a holding period when there is a failure to reclaim loan property.
League Action and Justification: Monitor. Currently, League has no formal position on lending practices but there are many members and the public who are concerned about the increasing number of such lenders and the high rates charged the most economically vulnerable members of the public.