Montgomery – After an extended and contentious week, the Alabama Legislature accomplished the penultimate day of the 2021 Common Session final week. Playing and medical marijuana dominated debate within the Home, inflicting the physique to debate till midnight on each Tuesday and Thursday. The Senate skilled some tense moments in addition to they churned by means of various important Home payments.
The Legislature will take this week off and can return on Could seventeenth to finish the Common Session. The Home calendar for the ultimate day will depend upon whether or not Management can get the mandatory votes to cross the playing invoice.
If Management decides to place it on the calendar, assume that it will likely be one of many solely payments thought of on the ultimate day. If the Home shouldn’t be capable of cross many Senate payments on the ultimate day, the Senate might additionally delay motion on Home payments. The destiny of dozens of payments might depend upon the result of the playing negotiations.
Here’s a abstract of motion taken by the legislature final week. (This abstract is supplied by the Financial Improvement Affiliation of Alabama.
The Home handed Senator Melson’s medical marijuana laws Thursday by a vote of 68-34. The Senate voted 20-9 to just accept the Home modifications, sending the invoice to Governor Ivey.
SB 46 would permit folks with a qualifying medical situation to buy, with the advice of a physician and a medical hashish card, medical marijuana merchandise at licensed dispensaries at as much as 12 areas across the state. Qualifying medical situations embody however should not restricted to most cancers, a terminal sickness, despair, epilepsy, panic dysfunction and continual ache. Acceptable types of supply embody drugs, pores and skin patches, and lotions, however not smoking or vaping. It is going to now be as much as Governor Ivey to signal or veto the invoice.
The Home didn’t advance playing laws Thursday, leaving just one extra day to take action within the 2021 Common Session. Disagreements over playing typically, on line casino areas, and Medicaid enlargement mixed to type sufficient opposition to stall the invoice. Speaker McCutcheon has indicated that passing the invoice when the Legislature returns Could 17 is unlikely.
The Senate amended and handed HB 273 Tuesday, which might elevate the age of shopping for tobacco and vaping merchandise from 19 to 21. The invoice would additionally require vaping producers to undergo a listing. The Home concurred to the Senate modifications Thursday, sending the invoice to Governor Ivey.
Daylight Saving Time
A invoice making daylight financial savings time everlasting handed the Legislature this week. SB 388 would get rid of “springing ahead” and “falling again” if Congress authorizes the change. The invoice now goes to Governor Ivey for consideration.
Two payments had been accredited by the Legislature this week to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. HB 540 would set up an Alabama Innovation Company to extend the state’s technological financial growth competitiveness, and HB 609 would permit the Company to make matching grants of as much as $250,000 to entities receiving federal SBIR or Expertise Switch Analysis grants. The FY22 training price range contains $4 million for the Company and $5 million for the grants.
Senator Marsh’s broadband invoice handed each chambers unanimously this week. SB 215 would create an Alabama Digital Enlargement Authority to supervise broadband enlargement and set up an Alabama Digital Enlargement Finance Company that would difficulty bonds of as much as $250 million to finance eligible tasks.
With the obvious demise of the playing package deal, it’s unclear what the broadband income stream will likely be. Broadband enlargement could also be seen as a doable touchdown spot for a few of the funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which grew to become regulation on March 11. The invoice now goes to Governor Ivey for consideration.
Historic Preservation Tax Credit score
The Legislature handed HB 281 this week, which might prolong the historic preservation tax credit score for 5 years. This system, which was set to run out by the top of this 12 months, would run by means of the top of 2026. Amendments embody extending the period of time smaller counties should take part in this system from six to 9 months, requiring that the Alabama Historic Fee cease accepting purposes when the $200 million total cap is reached, and eradicating residential properties from eligibility. HB 281 now goes to Governor Ivey for consideration.
Rural Jobs Act
The senate handed HB 473 by Consultant Danny Garrett and Senator Bobby Singleton on Thursday night time. HB 473 establishes a pool of capital within the quantity of $50 million that should be used to assist small companies in rural and economically impoverished communities within the state. To make sure the capital is distributed in a geographically equitable manner, not less than 50 p.c should be invested in companies in rural counties (50,000 residents or fewer) and not less than 25 p.c should be invested in companies in Alternative Zones and different low-income communities. Individually, not less than 25 p.c of the whole should be invested in minority-owned companies and not less than 25 p.c of the whole should be invested in agribusiness.
This system is funded utilizing $25 million from the State Small Enterprise Credit score Initiative, which is a part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and $25 million from personal capital.