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Feb 21 Weekly Report Of Alabama Legislature. They Impact Our Lives

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 1491

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 22 2014 9:31 AM

This update is by the Alabama Association of County Commissioners.

Danger Bills

Prompt Payment of Contracts
HB 24 by Rep. Bill Roberts | Fact Sheet
SB 386 by Sen. Del Marsh
The House version of the bill to require shortened time frames for payment of construction projects and remove the existing exemption for federally funded projects until grant or funding monies are received by the awarding authority is the second bill on the House special order calendar for Tuesday. Because this bill will be considered by the full House on Tuesday, it is imperative that every member of the House of Representatives be contacted this weekend and asked to oppose this bill unless the bill is amended to address county concerns.

 The Senate version of this legislation will likely come up for a vote in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee next week. County officials should contact members of this committee and urge them to oppose this bill unless the concerns of county government are addressed. (This committee could also take up Danger Bill SB 37, discussed below, which could devastate revenues to local government.) Senate committee members: Williams, Chairperson;BussmanColemanGloverKeaheyScofieldTaylorMarsh


9-1-1 board changes
SB 317 by Sen. Del Marsh 
The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will vote Tuesday on legislation altering  the statewide 911 board. ACCA has expressed its opposition to the legislation, which amends the 2012 act that provided comprehensive reform of 9-1-1 funding in Alabama in two significant and damaging ways:

  • The bill provides for altering the makeup of the board to include representatives of Alabama’ manufacturing community and hospitals which ACCA believes will be counterproductive for the operation of the board and almost certainly lead to administrative and funding decisions for emergency communications being made by industry representatives with little or no knowledge of 9-1-1 services, thereby reducing revenues collected for 9-1-1 operations across the state.

  • The bill would alter the process for establishing the number of lines at each location that will be subject to the statewide fee, a change intended to reduce the number of lines for which the statewide fee will be collected.

County officials and 9-1-1 directors are encouraged to contact all members of the Governmental Affairs Committee to express opposition to this legislation. (This committee will also consider Tuesday two ACCA bills — SB 367 and SB 400 — discussed below.) Committee members: Holley, chairperson; Bedford, vice chairperson; BeasonBrewbakerColeman,DunnFiguresOrrPittmanSanfordTaylorMarsh 


Valuation of Subsidized Housing Property
HB 458 by Rep. Oliver Robinson
SB 379 by Sen. Jabo Waggoner
During a public hearing Wednesday on the bill that would alter the method setting the tax value of certain subsidized housing properties, several tax officials spoke about the serious financial consequences this legislation would have for both the state and local governments. They have been a tremendous help in educating legislators on this bill, and county officials are encouraged to consult their tax officials to gather information about how this bill would affect your county.

The House Commerce and Small Business Committee plans to vote on this legislation Wednesday, so it is imperative that all members of the committee be contacted directly by county officials. Additionally, county officials should contact their school boards and municipalities to make sure they are aware of the negative consequences of this legislation and ask for their help in fighting this bill.

House committee members: Chair Jack Williams, Vice Chair Barry Moore, Ranking Minority Member Craig FordRichard BaughnMack ButlerDavid ColstonKurt WallaceApril WeaverPebblin Warren

The Senate version of this bill could come up in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee next week.Please contact senators on this committee to make sure they also understand the negative implications of this legislation. (Next week this committee is expected to consider another Danger Bill, SB 386 discussed above.) Senate committee members: Williams, Chairperson; BussmanColemanGloverKeaheyScofieldTaylorMarsh


Open Meetings Law
SB 191 by Sen. Cam Ward as substituted in committee 
It appears that the Alabama Press Association has agreed to remove language to require the losing party in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Open Meetings Law to pay attorney’s fees. The ACCA and other organizations representing local governments had strongly objected to this language and had asked that it be removed before the bill was considered by the full Senate. If this language is removed – and no additional troubling language is added – counties will remove their objections to this bill. It is very likely that there will be an effort to include this legislation on the working agenda for Senate floor action this coming week. Please urge your senators to oppose this legislation unless the “loser pay” language is removed from the bill.


Sales tax holiday expansion
HB 521 by Rep. Randy Davis
SB 382 by Sen. Bryan Taylor
Legislation was introduced in this week to add band instruments and uniforms to the list of items included in the school sales tax holiday each summer. ACCA has strong policy against adding items to this annual event, and ACCA has requested public hearings on these bills. ACCA will keep you apprised of these bills and let you know when and if the requested public hearings are scheduled to take place. In the meantime, county officials and revenue officers should contact members of the House Ways and Means Education and Senate Ways and Means General Fund Committee to express opposition to this bill.

House committee members: Chair Bill Poole, Vice Chair Mary Sue McClurkinJames BuskeyAlan BootheMac Buttram,Donnie ChesteenTerri CollinsCraig FordJamie IsonSteve McMillanJohn RogersRod ScottPatricia ToddMark TugglePhil Williams

Senate committee members: Orr, chairperson; Williams, Vice  chairperson; BeasleyBedfordBrewbakerDunnHoltzclaw,PittmanSanfordSingletonWardWaggonerMarsh


ACCA Bills

County Administrative Powers
SB 367 by Sen. Del Marsh | Possible Administrative Powers 
The bill to grant counties certain administrative powers without requiring local legislation will also be on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee agenda Tuesday. This proposal was one of the recommendations from the Constitutional Revision Commission aimed at allowing county officials to make decisions regarding administration of county government without requiring legislative approval on all matters. The powers authorized would not include the power to tax or regulate land use, but would include the management and operation of the county and adoption of certain programs beneficial to the citizens they represent. Please ask all members of the committee to support this bill and please contact the ACCA office if any of your legislators express concern about this legislation. (This committee is also scheduled to consider a second ACCA bill, described immediately below, and a Danger Bill about 9-1-1, described above.) Committee members: Holley, chairperson; Bedford, vice chairperson; BeasonBrewbakerColemanDunnFigures,OrrPittmanSanfordTaylorMarsh

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