Legislative Report 011918

Volume 19 Number 2 – January 19, 2018

3rd & 4th legislative days

Winter Weather Derails Legislature

Like most of the state, Montgomery was under a winter weather advisory and hard freeze warning starting Tuesday night. The weather made travel very difficult, so the legislature cancelled all activities on Wednesday and had an abbreviated work day on Thursday.

Tuesday, the House held a Military and Veterans Appreciation Day and focused on honoring our state’s military and veterans. They passed two bills designed to benefit those who serve or have served:

  • The Veterans’ Employment Act by Rep. Connie Rowe (R – Jasper) provides incentives to businesses that hire honorably discharged veterans who are currently unemployed.
  • The Parks for Patriots Act by Rep. Dickie Drake (R – Leeds) provides free, year-round admission to all Alabama state parks for all active military personnel and veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserves.

The Senate focused on Sunset bills on Tuesday, which are bills to renew state boards and agencies that come before the legislature periodically to ensure the boards/agencies are performing their duties.

The Senate also passed SB 98 by Sen. Arthur Orr (R – Decatur) on Tuesday, which provides the authority to counties to abate rollback ad valorem taxes for certain projects that qualify for the incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act. The bill is important as part of the Toyota/Mazda economic development incentive package.

All committee meetings were cancelled on Wednesday due to the weather and some were rescheduled for Thursday, while others will be held next week.

The legislature has now blown through four legislative days rather quickly. The House and Senate will likely turn their full attention to budgets soon. The General Fund budget is scheduled in Senate committee next week, and the Education budget, which will originate in the House, will likely start to move in the next two weeks.

Upcoming Legislative Schedule

The House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene Tuesday, January 23, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. respectively.