News & Updates

February 17, 2012

Session Updates

Session Notes
Week 2

Both houses saw a lot of committee action this week and Thursday, the fifth legislative day, concluded with a lot of bills getting their second reading and being placed on the calendar.  Here is some of the activity on key legislation:

HOUSE:

Passed HB159, the Jobs Creation and Retention Act on a vote of 65 Yes, 22 No.  It has gone to the Senate Committee on F & T Education.

Passed HB152, “Heroes for Hire” legislation that provides tax incentives to companies that hire veterans.

HB2, a ban on texting and driving will make it unlawful for people to send or receive text messages while driving.  The bill is in line to come up for debate on the Alabama House floor. It calls for fining drivers $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $75 the third time caught texting while driving. Drivers would also receive one point on the driver’s license for each citation. Twelve points can cause a driver to lose his or her driver’s license.  Last session, the proposed texting ban passed the House and died in the Senate.  A similar bill was approved on an 8-1 vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

Approved a bill that allows companies to in some cases use employee’s income tax deductions for expansion or new construction. Goes to Senate.

Passed HB 16, called the “saggy pants” bill, the measure applies only to Montgomery County. It passed the House by a 59-0 vote Thursday.  The sponsor, Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, has said he finds it disrespectful when young people wear their pants sagging below their hips, often showing their underwear.  The bill calls for a fine up to $100 for juveniles and up to $150 for adults cited for wearing saggy pants.

SENATE:

Passed SB 180 – “Blue Alert” bill which establishes notification system when a suspect is wanted for injuring a law enforcement officer or when an officer is missing.  Goes to the House.

Passed SB 80 – and amendment to the Alabama “Move Over” Act which would also require vehicles to slow down or move over for utility vehicles on roadside under certain conditions.

SB 175 was approved by all but one member of the Senate judiciary committee.  It is now headed to the Senate floor. The bill broadens the scope of criminal charges for individuals who sponsor cockfights as well as increases current fines and adds jail time for operators, participants and spectators.

SB63 Passed and goes to the House.  The bill authorizes the Department of Corrections to contract with private industry for on-site work programs; and to further provide vocational training and the rehabilitation of inmates through greater utilization of prison industries.


Miscellaneous:

Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh on Wednesday announced plans to close four of the state’s six mental health hospitals, leaving two in Tuscaloosa, and moving all remaining non-court committed mental patients to community facilities.

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