News & Updates

March 23, 2012

Session Updates

This week State legislators and department heads are trying to figure out how to manage state government under the 10.6 percent budget cuts announced Friday (Mar 16) by Gov. Robert Bentley for the reminder of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The action reduced this year’s budgeted General Fund spending by $188 million.

House:

-The House Ways and Means-Education Committee held a public hearing but did not vote on a proposal to create charter schools in Alabama.

-Passed a bill to exempt items used to treat diabetes, such as syringes and insulin, from states, county and municipal sales and use taxes. Goes to Senate.

-Approved two bills to restructure the Department of Transportation and to make certain positions, including the position of chief engineer, appointed positions rather than merit system jobs.  The two bills were approved in overwhelming 83-2 and 86-2 votes.

-Approved (Sunset) bills to keep a number of state agencies running. Go to governor.
-Debated, but did not pass a bill to prohibit prison inmates from gaining access to social networking sites.

SENATE:
-The Senate’s Finance and Taxation/ General Fund Committee voted 8-0 to appropriate an extra $45.3 million this year from the General Fund for the Department of Corrections, which runs the state prison system.  After the Governor declared more than 10% proration, the administration requested the supplemental appropriation to protect prisons from the effects of budget cuts and to prevent early release of prisoners.

-Senate Finance and Taxation Education committee approved bill to increase tax incentives for film production in Alabama. Goes to Senate.

-Approved a House-passed bill to allow aircraft companies to take advantage of incentives offered to companies that create jobs. Goes back to House.

-Passed a bill that expands the ways state deposits may be invested. Goes to House.

-Approved a bill setting certain minimum standards for sheriffs. Goes to House.

-Approved a bill that sets a limit on how much of a state employee’s unused sick leave can be accumulated and paid at retirement. Goes to House.

-Approved a bill to stop police officers from racial profiling when stopping a motorist for a possible traffic violation. Goes to House.

-Passed a bill to set sentencing guidelines for Alabama judges. Goes to House

-Passed a bill that would use fees paid for traffic violations such as DUI and reckless driving to fund research into spinal cord injuries. Goes to House.

 

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