2023 Legislative Update: Regular Session Week Six
The “Game Plan” has passed in both chambers and have been signed by Governor Ivey. Governor Ivey stated, “the Game Plan will give Alabama’s team the tools it needs to extend our winning record in economic development and help us unleash a new wave of growth and innovation across the state. From our rural areas to our big cities, this is going to benefit every corner of Alabama.”
As discussed in previous legislative updates, the “Game Plan” includes four principal bills: the Jobs Act & Growing Alabama; the Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act; the Innovation and Small Business Act; and the Transparency in Incentives Act.
On Tuesday the House passed a bill sponsored by Representative Andy Whitt with a vote count of 104-0. This bill mandates public high schools to provide instruction on personal financial literacy to its students. The curriculum will teach students how to manage a bank account, manage money, balance a checkbook, and other similar skills. This bill has now been sent to the Senate.
Representative Whitt stated, “waiting until students get into the adult world is often too little, too late. This bill will require public school students complete a course of personal financial literacy and money management before graduation.” Similar legislation is being introduced in other state legislatures around the country.
A bill sponsored by Representative David Faulkner passed in the House on Tuesday that would require all Alabama public works projects to use only American-made iron. This is not a completely novel concept as the same requirement is in place for steel products used in public-works projects.
Colby Act - Conservatorships
On Thursday, the Colby Act, sponsored by Representative Almond, Representative Faulkner, and Senator Orr, has passed in both chambers and has been sent to Governor Ivey for her signature. This bill will enable an adult who has disabilities to establish a decision-making arrangement with an advisory team instead of having to make decisions through guardianship or conservatorship.
Transgender Athletes - The Women’s Sports Protection Bill
The Women’s Sports Protection Bill sponsored by Representative Susan Dubose and Senator April Weaver has passed in the House after some slight amendments. As mentioned last week, this would broaden a 2021 law that applies to K-12 sports teams to also apply to sports teams in the higher education setting.
The bill would prevent transgender athletes from participating in intercollegiate sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. This bill has been sent to the Senate for review.
Sales Tax Liability
A bill sponsored by Representative Danny Garrett that raises the minimum sales tax liability for submitting monthly estimated payments from $5,000 to $20,000 passed in the Alabama House. This change would exempt about 3,100 sales tax licensees from the obligation of making monthly estimated payments. This bill has been sent to the Senate for review.
A bill proposed by Representative Chip Brown modifies an existing port credit that is currently applied to a business' income tax liability. Representative Brown’s bill amends the language of the current law so that the credit would now be linked to the cargo volume, which means that as the cargo volume increases, so does the credit. Additionally, the proposed bill permits businesses with increased volume to claim increased jobs credits on wages paid to employees in the previous year.
Status of the Legislature
The Legislature used three legislative working days this week and has now used thirteen of its allotted thirty legislative working days this regular session. It is important to mention that there will be action taken on both the Education Trust Fund Budget and the General Fund Budget in the coming week. As of April 21st, there have been 373 bills filed in the House and 238 bills filed in the Senate during the regular session. The House will reconvene on Tuesday, April 25th, at 1:00 p.m., and the Senate will reconvene on the same day at 2:30 p.m. Next week the legislature is expected to use two legislative working days.
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