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Report Ending January 26th

The House and Senate met for the 5th and 6th legislative days this week.  On Tuesday, the House passed a bill by Rep. Steve Clouse to have elections for a vacated US Senate seat occur at the next election, saving the state the cost of a special election on those rare occasions like we saw in 2017.  The Senate this week passed legislation to allow ride sharing companies (like Uber and Lyft) to operate across the state, reduce the number of weeks people can receive unemployment compensation when the unemployment rate is low, and provide some tax relief to low and middle income Alabamians by raising the income level for standard deductions.

 

NEW LEGISLATION

First readings for this week are attached, and there are a number of new bills that may be of interest to AWWI.  Please review the attachment for the complete list, but I wanted to make sure you were aware of a few in particular.

 

HB 278 by Rep. Mooney would bring under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission:

Any privately owned plant, property, or facility for the collection, treatment, or disposal of sewage that uses, directly or through a lease or contract, public rights-of-way of public roads for any part of its collection or disposal system; that has residential or commercial customers that are billed a flat service fee or fee based on water usage; and that is not otherwise exempt under Section 22-25B-2.

The bill also removes the current exemption for entities that “assume or acquire ownership or management of wastewater systems that were previously owned by entities of state, county or local governments.” 

 

HB 304 by Rep. JD Williams would bring under the jurisdiction of the PSC any water works board that, on or after 1/1/18, either serves water customers or has assets in four or more counties other than the county where the authorizing municipality is located.  You will probably recall that this was the language used to describe the Birmingham Water Works in earlier legislation.

 

BILLLS WE ARE FOLLOWING:

Sales Tax Exemption Certificate Legislation – HB 35, by Rep. Danny Crawford, is in a position to be considered on the floor of the House.  Please continue to contact your local delegation about this bill.

 

Fluoridation Bills –SB 180 & HB 224, to require a public water system to notify the State Health Officer before initiating any permanent change in the fluoridation status of its water supply, both received second readings this week.  It was noted in committee that the legislation was introduced at the request of the Department of Public Health.

 

HB 183 by Rep. Hanes, which would prohibit the application of biosolids in Jackson County, has passed the House. We are continuing to work with a number of other groups to oppose this bill.

 

Click here are the updated tracking list for your information.  If you would like a copy of any bill, please contact Stephanie Norrell.

 

 

Stephanie Norrell

McMillan & Associates