2020 Alabama Legislative Update | Friday, Feb. 7, 2020
Manufacture Alabama is currently tracking 14 Senate Bills and 13 House Bills. Two Senate bills and one House Bill will head to Committees next week to receive their second readings. Below is a summary of each bill.

We will be updating our members each week on the issues below. Please reach out to Manufacture Alabama with any questions or concerns you may have during the legislative session.
For over 20 years Manufacture Alabama, along our membership and affiliate members hosted a reception and dinner on the evening of the first day of the legislature’s regular session. Held at The Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Montgomery, members, guests and legislators watched Governor Ivey’s State of The State Address during the reception hour, and then moved to a seated dinner. Our CEO George Clark brought the meeting to order, and Representative Arnold Mooney (R – Shelby Co.) gave the invocation before a packed house of friends and colleagues, including House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D – Huntsville), Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R – Jasper), Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D – Greensboro) and countless other elected officials and staff for Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, State Auditor Jim Ziegler, State Supreme Court Justices William Sellers, Sarah Spear, Brad Mendheim, State Court of Appeals Judges Christy Edwards and Scott Donaldson, and the majority of members from both parties of The House of Representatives and State Senate. This event is seen by many as the “official” kick off the Legislative Session, and this year’s dinner was the best attended in memory. 
Gov. Ivey made Prison Infrastructure a focus of her State of The State Address on Tuesday – with a focus on building new prisons, but also on “transforming” Alabama’s prison system to one that focuses less on “warehousing” inmates and more on “rehabilitation.” The plan still calls for the building of three male prisons, focusing on modernity, corrections officer and inmate safety. 

This language dovetails with a renewed focus on mental health. The state closed three mental hospitals in the past decade, and The Alabama Department of Mental Health is asking for $18M to build three new mental health “centers” – which are different from the mental hospitals of yore. Probate Judges and Mental Health advocates have long pushed the Legislature to look at the intersection of our prison problems and mental health problems. These issues are complicated and intertwined, so it will be of much interest to see what kind of global solutions are proposed and ultimately what type of bill or package of bills can be passed. 

Governor Ivey declared herself “Skeptical” of any gaming legislation, including any changes, and a “Compact” with PCI. The Legislature can pass a bill which the Governor does not support, but would likely then have to override her veto – an unprecedented move when the legislature and Governor’s office are both controlled by Republicans. 

So, until Gov. Ivey’s reservations are assuaged, it is hard to see this legislation passing. Also, any bill that modifies our current gaming status would have to go to a statewide referendum. If it passed this session, any such legislation would be placed on the ballot in November. 

Gov. Ivey also called for a 3% raise for the state’s teachers and a 2% raise for Alabama State Employees. 
Senator Tim Melson (R – Florence) is expected to introduce Medical Cannabis Legislation Manufacture Alabama is working to ensure that when it is introduced, employer protections and worker’s compensation changes are worded in such a way that would protect our membership.

Support for the Bill in the Alabama House of Representatives is still seen as mixed; Speaker McCutcheon is on the record with reservations about how to implement any legislation pertaining to Medical Cannabis

Attorney General Steve Marshall has also indicated his office will oppose the passage of any legislation legalizing cannabis for any use. 
Senator Gerald Allen (R – Tuscaloosa) pre-filed Senate Bill 1 to allow the storage of guns in cars on private property where the carrying of a weapon is prohibited – including on the premises of a worksite or employer facility. Manufacture Alabama is working to balance the needs of our Members and Partners, while ensuring our 2nd Amendment rights are protected. 
Senate Bill 45, Senator Cam Ward (R – Alabaster)’s bill to further define unauthorized entry to include the use of a drone to attempt to photograph or gather information about critical infrastructure was introduced and received a first reading this week. This bill also broadens the definition of critical infrastructure to include pipelines. This bill would also make the damaging of critical infrastructure while trespassing a felony. This bill moves to committee, where Manufacture Alabama staff will be working with the sponsor and members to assure that it passes, and the needs of our members are covered therein. Chip Brown (R – Mobile) is handling the house companion legislation HB 36. 
Senate Bill 45 Sponsored by Senator Cam Ward | House Companion Bill 36 Sponsored by Representative Chip Brown
Crimes and offenses, criminal trespass, unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure, further provided to include unmanned aircraft systems, Sec. 13A-7-4.3 am'd.

Existing law provides for the commission of the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure.

This bill would further provide for the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure by prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a critical infrastructure except under certain conditions.

This bill would further define the term critical infrastructure to include the term pipeline.

This bill would provide enhanced criminal penalties when a person damages a critical infrastructure while committing the crime of unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure.
Senate Bill 117, Senator’s Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) and Senator Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham are Co-Sponsoring legislation that would adjust language in the solid waste statutes. This is necessary because the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals agreed with a plaintiff who claims the statute says that land fill cover has to be earthen material.

ADEM, with EPA's blessings has allowed alternative cover materials for 25 years. For our members who operate landfills, industrial or municipal solid waste (MSW), to change to earthen material would be very costly.

The proposed language change is simply to remove the words "with compacted earth" from the statute.
Senate Bill 117 Sponsored by Senator Albritton and Senator Coleman-Madison
Solid waste disposal, definition of landfill provided, Sec. 22-27-2 am'd.

This bill would clarify existing law relating to disposal of solid waste, to provide that landfills covered by substances other than earth are included within the definition of a landfill.

Relating to solid waste disposal; to amend Section 22-27-2, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide that landfills covered by substances other than earth are included within the definition of a landfill.
House General Fund Budget Chairman Steve Clouse (R – Ozark) said this week that he has not decided when to introduce his planned Constitutional Amendment to allow the state to implement a lottery system, but it appears it will not be until nearer to the middle of the session.
The proposals for the build-lease plan are due…

Senator Cam Ward also introduced a Constitutional Amendment this week that would deny bail to a set of six specific violent offenses: murder, first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, kidnapping, sexual abuse or sexual torture and human trafficking.

Current Alabama law allows for bail for any crime, save “capital offenses.” This is one to watch, as the legislature seeks to balance its sentencing reform efforts with “tough on crime” legislation. 
Senator Clyde Chambliss (R – Prattville) filed a bill he is sponsoring this week to create a “Mini Rolling Reserve” for The General Fund Budget – depositing 20% of the funds leftover at the end of a fiscal year into a “Rainy Day Fund” which will help when proration inevitably rolls around again. At the end of FY 2019, there was $271,000,000 “leftover” and under Chambliss’ proposed legislation, almost $55,000,000 would be held back for the proverbial Rainy Day. Chambliss is no stranger to our membership, and is known as a Fiscal Hawk, who likes to solve seemingly intractable problems. 
In her State of The State Address, Gov. Ivey called for a $1 Billion Bond Issue for Education for new construction, safety improvements or technology upgrades. She noted that it has been 14 years since the state last made this type of investment in education, while also declaring the distribution of the funds would on a formula, and thus be free of any earmarks or pet projects of legislators, which in the past have been endemic in this type of fund allocation. 
Montgomery is the latest city to propose an occupational tax to help fix its fiscal woes, but any path taken to enacting this tax will be a rocky one. The City Council is currently considering a 1% tax on those living outside, but working within the city limits. Rep. Chris Sells (R – Greenville) has sponsored legislation to outlaw any new Occupational Taxes. Sells represents part of Montgomery County, and is thus also part of the local delegation. 

His opposition to the City of Montgomery’s proposal is joined by both State Personnel Director Jackie Graham and State Employees Association Executive Director Mac McArthur who sent a joint letter to Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed in opposition to this proposed tax. 
Committee Meetings

Governmental Affairs
Room 825 | 1 p.m.

Veterans and Military Affairs
Room 316 | Upon Adjournment

Alabama Legislative License Plate Oversight Committee
Room 304 | 9:30 a.m.

Room 325 | 8:30 a.m.

Finance and Taxation Education
Room 825 | 10 a.m.

Banking and Insurance
Room 320 | 1 p.m.

Room 825 | 2 p.m.

Agriculture Conservation and Forestry
Room 316 | 2:30 p.m.

Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development
Room 825 | 3 p.m.

Transportation Utilities and Infrastructure
Room 429 | 9 a.m.

Financial Services
Room 617 | 9 a.m.

Room 617 | 10:30 a.m.


Joint State Parks Meeting
Room 316 | 2:45 p.m.


Transportation and Energy
Room 825 | 8:30 a.m.

Permanent Legislative Committee on Reapportionment
Room 304 | 2 p.m.
Visit Manufacture Alabama's Member Lounge
You're Invited to the Manufacture Alabama Member Lounge
Sit back, relax, enjoy a beverage and snack all from the Manufacture Alabama member lounge.

Manufacture Alabama is so excited to offer a comfortable spot for our members to relax in just in time for the 2020 legislative session. Members at our lounge will have a comfortable seating with access to complimentary snacks, beverages, Wifi and a smart TV.
Each and every citizen of this great state needs to participate in the 2020 Census. Federal funding is directly tied to the number of citizens from each state. If citizens participate at the 2000 level, we will lose two Congressional seats. If the participation level is comparable to 2010, the State will lose one congressional seat.

Learn more about the Alabama Census here.