2024 Alabama Legislative Update: Regular Session - Sine Die


The $3.4 billion General Fund Budget and supplemental appropriations, the mechanism for funding non-education-related expenses, have been sent to the Governor for her signature.  

The $9.3 billion 2025 Education Trust Fund (ETF) Budget and two supplemental ETF appropriations have also been sent to the Governor for her signature. This budget passed Thursday after being held in the House for strategic reasons. As mentioned in previous legislative updates, the ETF is the state’s mechanism for education-related funding. This year’s ETF includes a 2% raise for state education employees and $10 million for summer EBT for children for the summer of 2025.   

Ad Valorem Taxation Limit

On Wednesday, the legislature approved a bill, sponsored by Senator David Sessions and Representative Phillip Pettus, that caps annual property tax assessment increases at 7%. Representative Pettus said, “Capping those increases at 7% allows cities and counties to acknowledge the rising value of property while, at the same time, shielding both families and employers from unfair, unexpected, and unconscionable property tax increases.” This legislation has been sent to the Governor for her signature.   


The legislature did not pass comprehensive gaming legislation this session despite previous optimism that it would pass for the first time in over twenty years. The failure to pass legislation led to several lawmakers slowing down this week's legislative process to voice their displeasure with the gaming package not being passed this session.   

The House version of the legislation would have brought a lottery, casinos, and sports betting to Alabama. However, the Senate version of the legislation made notable changes to the House’s plan, including removing casinos and sports betting. Due to the differences, the gaming package was sent to a conference committee composed of three House members and three Senate members to draft compromise legislation.  

The compromise legislation created by the conference committee would have allowed for a lottery and slot machines in seven locations in the state. The House approved this compromise legislation, but it did not receive a final vote in the Senate after it became apparent there were not enough votes to pass it. On Thursday afternoon, there were rumors that the Senate would attempt to vote on a “clean lottery” bill, but those rumors never materialized.   

Union Elections

Legislation related to unions, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr and House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen, passed the legislature this week. This legislation will make companies’ eligibility for economic incentives contingent upon refraining from specific practices related to employee representation by a labor organization. Specifically, this legislation prohibits companies from recognizing unions without conducting a formal secret ballot election, commonly called a “card check,” if they would like to retain their economic incentives. The final legislation clarifies that employers or subcontractors who do not directly receive an economic incentive are not subject to this forfeiture.   

When discussing this legislation, Leader Scott Stadthagen stated that it would “give the employees the opportunity to have a private ballot.” This legislation has been sent to Governor Ivey, a critic of union activity in the state, for her signature.   

Working for Alabama

Governor Ivey signed into law on Thursday morning all pieces of the “Working for Alabama” plan mentioned in previous legislative updates. As previously discussed, this plan aims to increase Alabama’s workforce participation, strengthen economic development, and encourage community and rural development across the state.   

  1. Alabama Growth Alliance: This bill establishes the Alabama Growth Alliance, a public corporation that supports economic development. Its focus includes increasing private investment within the state and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses.  
  2. Workforce Development Expansion: This legislation renames the Secretary of Labor and the Department of Workforce to the Secretary of Workforce and the Department of Workforce and alters the Department’s duties.  
  3. Alternative Diploma Program:  This legislation establishes an alternative diploma program focusing on career and technical education.  
  4. Child Care Tax Credits: This legislation creates childcare tax credits for employees and employers. 
  5. Housing Tax Credits: This legislation establishes a tax credit for eligible taxpayers who own stakes in qualifying workforce housing projects in Alabama.  
  6. Research Corridors: This legislation authorizes municipalities to create research and development corridors and details the corridors' governance structure, competitive bidding process, and taxation. 
Genetic Testing

Legislation regarding genetic information transfers, known as the Alabama Genetic Data Privacy Act, passed the legislature and has been sent to the Governor for her signature. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Chip Brown, requires genetic testing companies to obtain consumer consent before retaining, using, or sharing their genetic information with third parties. It also prohibits direct marketing based on a consumer’s genetic data or third-party marketing based on the consumer’s order, purchase, reception, or use of a genetic testing product or service.  

Mandatory Cell Phone Filters for Minors

A bill sponsored by Representative Chris Sells, requiring cell phones to have content blockers to be activated as a default setting by cell phone manufacturers, died in the Senate on Thursday. This piece of legislation was the primary reason for a day-long Senate filibuster, which resulted in numerous bills not being passed in the Senate, thus dying for this legislative session. This bill would have required a manufacturer to implement an automatic filter that blocks content deemed "harmful to minors." Failure to comply with this requirement would result in the manufacturer being held civilly liable. This exact legislation has died in the Senate after passing the House during previous sessions.  


On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee opted not to move the comprehensive ethics rewrite bill sponsored by Representative Matt Simpson. While this piece of legislation did not pass, the Legislative Services Agency will hire an expert with national ethics expertise to study Alabama's ethics laws with the goal of producing an ethics rewrite in a future legislative session. When asked about the future of ethics reform, Representative Simpson stated, “We’ve got to figure out where we are and what’s going to change between now and next year.”   

Cooperative Districts

This week, legislation sponsored by Senator Chris Elliot related to Capital Improvement Cooperative Districts passed the legislature. This legislation would enable Capital Improvement Cooperative Districts to add new areas where the district proposes acquiring projects. Additionally, this legislation would permit Improvement Cooperative Districts to pay the construction costs of the new projects. This legislation has been sent to the Governor for her signature.   

Seafood Labeling

Legislation regarding seafood labeling was sent to the Governor for her signature. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Chip Brown and Senator David Sessions, will require certain food service establishments to inform consumers about the country of origin or importation status of fish and shrimp available for purchase. Additionally, these establishments must distinguish between farmed-raised and wild-caught fish and shrimp.  

Representative Brown has said, “The seafood industry is essential to the economy throughout Alabama’s Gulf Coast region, and with foreign-caught products flooding the U.S. market, we must take every step to both support it and protect it . . .  by requiring disclosure of the country of origin for seafood, we can encourage the use of products caught in Alabama while ensuring that consumers are better informed about the food they consume.”  

Alabama Farm Center

This week, legislation authorizing the creation of the Agriculture Exhibition Center Corporation to operate the Alabama Farm Center passed after a lack of a quorum in a conference committee led to a filibuster on Tuesday on the Senate floor. The Agriculture Exhibition Center Corporation will be deemed an economic development organization. The Alabama Farm Center would be located at Hallmark Farm in Jefferson County. This legislation has been sent to the Governor for her signature.  

Status of the Legislature  

The Legislature adjourned sine die Thursday after using all allotted thirty legislative working days.   

This session, 494 bills were filed in the House, and 349 bills were filed in the Senate.   

The House and Senate will reconvene in February 2025 for the next regular session, barring a special session called by the Governor.  

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