2024 Alabama Legislative Update: Regular Session - Week Ten


Legislation related to unions, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr and House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen, passed the House this week. This legislation 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. This legislation will now go to the conference committee before being sent to Governor Ivey.  

Distressed Institution Loan Program Repeal
On Thursday, the House passed legislation, sponsored by Representative Juandalynn Givan, that would repeal the distressed institution loan program initially passed during the last session to provide a loan to Birmingham Southern College. The repeal of this program comes in response to legislation dying in the House that would allow Birmingham Southern College to reapply for a $30 million loan and the subsequent announcement of the school’s closure effective May 31, 2024. This legislation will now go to the Senate for its consideration.  

This week, the members of the gambling conference committee met to attempt to produce a compromise bill to rectify the differences between the House and Senate versions of the comprehensive gaming package. The Senate sponsor of the legislation, Senator Greg Albritton, indicated that the negotiations are still very fluid and stated, “I can’t tell you what I know, but if I did, it would be untrue by tomorrow.”  

Last week, the House passed the $9.3 billion 2025 Education Trust Fund (ETF) Budget and two supplemental ETF appropriations. As mentioned in previous legislative updates, the ETF is the state’s mechanism for education-related funding. The ETF and Supplemental ETF appropriations are still pending further action in the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee, chaired by Senator Arthur Orr, before a full Senate vote. The General Fund legislation has passed the Senate and is still pending committee action in the House.  

State Settlement Restrictions
On Wednesday, legislation sponsored by Senator Greg Albritton related to settlement agreements received a favorable report from the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee. Specifically, this legislation would only allow state agencies to enter into a settlement agreement for a claim made against the state if the given agency has the funds available to pay the full amount owed under the settlement agreement. This legislation has passed the full Senate and will now go to the full House for its consideration.  

Cooperative Districts
This week, legislation sponsored by Senator Chris Elliot related to Capital Improvement Cooperative Districts passed the full Senate. 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 will now go to the House for its consideration.  

Research Corridors
This week, legislation sponsored by Senator Jabo Waggoner related to research corridors passed the Senate. This legislation will authorize municipalities to create research and development corridors. This legislation also details the corridors' governance structure, competitive bidding process, and taxation. This legislation has been sent to the House for consideration.  

Working for Alabama
Various pieces of the “Working for Alabama” plan, mentioned in previous legislative updates, were taken up in both the House and Senate this week. 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 legislation pieces will continue to progress in both chambers during the next legislative week as the Legislature moves toward passing this legislative priority. This legislative package includes the following:    

  1. Alabama Growth Alliance: The Senate version of this legislation has passed both chambers as amended and will be sent to the Governor after the Senate concurs with the House's changes. It establishes the Alabama Growth Alliance, a public corporation to support economic development. Its focus includes increasing private investment within the state and creating opportunities for minority-owned businesses.  
  2. Workforce Development Expansion: This piece of legislation has been signed into law. As mentioned in previous legislative updates, it 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:  The Senate concurred with the House’s change in this legislation, and the bill was sent to Governor Ivey on Tuesday for her signature. 
  4. Child Care Tax Credits: Last week, the House passed this legislation as amended to create childcare tax credits for both employees and employers. This legislation is pending further committee action in the Senate, which will be discussed on May 1. 
  5. Housing Tax Credit: As mentioned in previous legislative updates, this legislation would establish a tax credit for eligible taxpayers with a stake in qualifying workforce housing projects in Alabama. This legislation has passed the House and is still pending committee action in the Senate, which will be discussed on May 1. 
  6. Innovation Districts: This legislation has been reported out of committee in both chambers. As mentioned in previous legislative updates, it would establish “innovation districts'' as public corporations and provide 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. The House and Senate versions of this bill have reported out of committee.  

Status of the Legislature
The Legislature used two legislative working days this week, bringing its current total to 25 of its allotted 30 legislative working days  

As of April 26, 491 bills have been filed in the House, and 344 bills have been filed in the Senate.   

The House and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, April 30, with the House session beginning at 1:00 PM and the Senate session beginning at 4:00 PM. Next week, the Legislature is expected to use two legislative working days. 

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