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Report Ending March 2nd

Last week a major ethics bill was dropped by Sen. Del Marsh.  This week that bill was put on hold as Sen. Marsh, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton held a press conference to announce their support of a commission to review changes to the ethics act in order to prepare legislation for the 2019 Regular Session.   Sen. Arthur Orr had already introduced a resolution, SJR 11, to create the Code of Ethics Clarification and Reform Commission and it has been approved by the Senate and sent to the House.


In other action this week, the Senate approved a 3% pay raise for state employees, their first in 10 years.  That chamber also approved a one-time bonus for retired teachers and state employees that is based on a formula of $1 per month of service.  Both bills now head to the House for consideration.


Only one bill was introduced this week that pertained to AWWI, and it is a local bill:


By Representatives Rogers, Moore (M) and Hollis (With Notice and Proof):

HB480 Relating to Jefferson County; to amend Section 45-37-244.01 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the automobile rental tax; to further provide that the proceeds from the rental tax shall be allocated to pay the Jefferson County Sewer System refunding bonds, with any remaining amount allocated to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority. COMMITTEE ON JEFFERSON COUNTY LEGISLATION




Sales Tax Exemption Certificate Legislation HB 35, by Rep. Danny Crawford, is in position to receive final passage in the Senate.  Sen. Greg Reed of Jasper is handling the bill in the Senate.  Please contact your senators and let them know that you support this bill and want them to act on it before they adjourn.  The legislation clarifies that any tax-exempt water or sewer authority, district, system or board may receive a certificate of exemption from the Department of Revenue for a qualified public works project.


Grease Trap Bill SB 258, to require commercial food service establishments to secure grease trap covers against unauthorized access, is on a special order that the House plans to consider on Tuesday.  The committee substitute addresses the concerns raised by AWWI.


Data Breach Bill SB 318 passed the Senate unanimously Thursday and now heads to the House for consideration.  The legislation requires notification in the event of a data security breach and requires certain procedures in the event of a data breach by a covered entity, which includes a government entity. 


Ethics Law Changes SB 343, which substantially revises the Ethics Act and is 118 pages long, will not be moved this session.  The bill will serve as a basis for a newly formed panel considering changes to the Ethics Act  SB 267, which make changes to the ethics law for minor violations, has received a second reading in the Senate.  The companion bill, HB 432, is still in committee.  These bills may also become part of the larger overhaul bill the panel considers after this session.


Fluoridation Bills SB 180 & HB 224 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 bills are out of committee in the second chamber and ready to be considered on the floor.