2024 Alabama Legislative Update: Regular Session - Week Six


Workforce Participation Package - Working Alabama 

This week, Governor Ivey, Lieutenant Governor Ainsworth, leadership in both the House and Senate, and business community leaders announced a bill package coined the “Working for Alabama” plan. This plan aims to increase Alabama’s workforce participation, strengthen economic development in the state, and encourage community and rural development in Alabama. These various pieces of legislation will see progress in both chambers during the next legislative week. This legislative package includes the following:   

  1. Alabama Growth Alliance This legislation would establish the Alabama Growth Alliance, a public corporation aimed at supporting economic development. Its focus includes increasing private investment within the state and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses. 
  2. Workforce Development Expansion: This legislation would rename the Secretary of Labor and the Department of Labor to the Secretary of Workforce and the Department of Workforce and alter the Department’s duties.  
  3. Alternative Diploma Program: This legislation would establish an alternative diploma program, focussing on career and technical education. 
  4. Child Care Tax Credits: This legislation creates child care tax credits for both employees and employers.  
  5. Housing Tax Credit: This legislation would establish a tax credit for eligible taxpayers with a stake in qualifying workforce housing projects in Alabama. 
  6. Innovation Districts: This legislation would establish “innovation districts” as public corporations and provides details for how these districts would operate. 
  7. Local Government Authority: This legislation would amend the Alabama Constitution, granting the Legislature the authority to allow counties and municipalities to establish “innovation districts” as public corporations.   

Farm Bureau Health Bill 

This week, a public hearing was held on legislation sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr regarding “Farm Bureau” health benefit plans. This legislation would create a new type of “health plan” exempt from State and Federal laws and regulations by the state Department of Insurance. The Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) would be the only organization authorized to market and sell these products and is the key proponent of this legislation. Opponents of the legislation point out that this bill lacks consumer protections would allow the denial of coverage based upon preexisting conditions, and create an entirely unregulated health plan product based on the bill’s current language.  

Occupational License Board Consolidation 

This week, Senator Chris Elliot filed an over five hundred-page piece of legislation that consolidates over 30 occupational boards, and the Senate County and Municipal Government Committee held a public hearing on this bill. This legislation would consolidate the named occupational boards into the Office of Occupational and Professional Licensing within the Department of Labor. This legislation has received the support of Governor Ivey. This legislation is pending committee action.  

Economic Incentives and Unionization 

Senator Arthur Orr has filed legislation that would make companies’ eligibility for economic incentives contingent upon refraining from specific practices related to employee representation by a labor organization. It would also require companies to repay the state for economic incentives received for the duration of the given incentivized project for violation of the law. Specifically, this legislation prohibits companies from recognizing unions without conducting a formal secret ballot election, commonly referred to as a “card check.” Similar legislation recently passed in neighboring Georgia. This legislation will be interesting to watch as the legislature simultaneously attempts to pass the previously mentioned ‘Working for Alabama” plan. This legislation is pending committee action.   

Birmingham Southern - Distressed Institution Loan Program 

This week, legislation related to the distressed institution loan program received a favorable report from the House Ways and Means Education Committee after previously passing the Senate. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Jabo Waggoner and David Faulkner, would allow Birmingham Southern College to reapply for a $30 million loan from the state after the loan was previously denied by Treasurer Young Boozer. Specifically, this bill states the purpose of the distressed institution loan program, transfers program administration to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from the State Treasurer, provides precise definitions for institutions eligible for loans, and establishes specific terms and conditions for those loans. The House made some changes to the legislation, including placing milestones on an institution receiving the loan. This legislation will now go to the full House for its review.    

Data Broker Regulation 

Legislation sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr received a favorable report from the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee. This legislation would require data brokers in Alabama to register with the Secretary of State and would establish specific security protocols for protecting the personal information they have obtained. This legislation will now go to the full Senate for its consideration.  

Rare Diseases  

This week, the Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to legislation sponsored by Representative Phillip Rigsby, which expands Alabama’s newborn screening process to include more rare diseases. This legislation would add four rare diseases, MPS 1, Pompe disease, MPS II, and GAMT, to Alabama’s screening process and any future diseases that become part of the U.S. Department of Human Services Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. The law is named after Zachary Thomas, a 14-year-old from Foley, Alabama, who was born with MPS 1. This bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration.   

DEI and Ballot Harvesting Signed Into Law 

Previous legislative updates have discussed the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) legislation and the “ballot harvesting” legislation. Both of these widely discussed pieces of legislation have now been signed into law by Governor Ivey after clearing some procedural hurdles.   

Status of the Legislature  

The Legislature used two legislative working days this week, bringing its current total to 17 of its allotted 30 legislative working days  

As of March 22nd, 382 bills were filed in the House, and 259 bills were filed in the Senate.   

The legislature will be on spring break next week and will not meet but is expected to use two legislative working days the week of April 1st. The current calendar lists that the House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, April 2nd, with the House session beginning at 1:00 PM and the Senate session beginning at 2:00 PM.   




About Maynard Nexsen

Maynard Nexsen is a full-service law firm with more than 550 attorneys in 24 offices from coast to coast across the United States. Maynard Nexsen formed in 2023 when two successful, client-centered firms combined to form a powerful national team. Maynard Nexsen’s list of clients spans a wide range of industry sectors and includes both public and private companies. 

Media Contact

Tina Emerson

Chief Marketing Officer

Direct: 803.540.2105

Photo of 2024 Alabama Legislative Update: Regular Session - Week Six
Jump to Page