February 26, 2021 | Regular Session
Federation Director of Agricultural Legislation Preston Roberts talks municipal jurisdictions; farm and forestry tags; broadband; gambling; and medical marijuana as the Alabama Legislature completes its third week of work.
Federation Testifies to Protect Farms Near Cities
Alabama Farmers Federation’s Preston Roberts testified this week in favor of legislation to limit the ability of cities to enforce ordinances within police and planning jurisdictions. 

“Currently, municipalities are allowed to extend their jurisdictions beyond the city limits. In addition, they’re also allowed to extend their planning jurisdictions up to five miles beyond the city limits. This is an overreach by cities,” said Roberts, director of agricultural legislation. “This can create some major problems and a lot of confusion for landowners and producers who live outside the city limits and don’t have a vote for city council or mayor on how they’re regulated.”

SB 107 by Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Fairhope, unanimously passed the Senate Feb. 9 and has been assigned to a subcommittee in the House of Representatives. The bill would limit enforcement of regulations and planning ordinances to 1.5 miles beyond the city limits. Federation members are encouraged to contact their representatives and urge passage of the bill. 

Medical Cannabis Legislation Passes Senate
The Alabama Senate this week passed legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes. 

SB 46 by Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, was approved 20-10. The measure is similar to a bill the Senate passed last year. The Alabama Farmers Federation is monitoring the legislation, which includes language restricting the growing of medical marijuana to farmers who live in the state of Alabama. 
Federation Champions Farm, Forestry Tag Bill
Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, introduced legislation this week which would lift limits on the purchase of (F-4) farm tags and expand weight limits for the (L) forest products tag.

HB 460 would lift the purchase restriction of four F-4 tags for farm trucks up to 80,001 pounds. It would also allow L tags for trucks up to 80,000 pounds.

Currently, forest product haulers in Alabama must purchase commercial tags for trucks over 42,000 pounds. Commercial tags require registration with the International Registration Plan (IRP). Restricted license plates, like the L tag, are exempt. Alabama loggers are at a competitive disadvantage with surrounding states which offer restricted plates because their haulers do not have to comply with the IRP when traveling out of state.
Rogers Nominated to Broadband Advisory Board
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Casey Rogers was nominated this week to serve on the Connect Alabama Advisory Board. 

The board and Alabama Digital Expansion Authority would be created by SB 215, introduced this week by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston. The legislation aims to develop and execute a Statewide Connectivity Plan. It also would establish the Connect Alabama program to award broadband accessibility grants. Creation of the authority could help Alabama garner federal funds for infrastructure improvement.
Two Confirmed to Alabama Forestry Commission
The Alabama Senate this week confirmed Gov. Kay Ivey’s appointments of Robert Turner and Thornton Stanley to the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). 

Turner of Sulligent was reappointed to the AFC, where he represents timberland owners. Stanley is with Stanley Construction in Huntsville. Both appointments expire Nov. 25, 2025.
Your Voice Is More Important Than Ever

With COVID-19 precautions limiting access to the State House for the public and Alabama Farmers Federation External Affairs team, it's vital members develop and maintain strong relationships with legislators in the district. Contact the External Affairs team (below) if you have questions or need assistance contacting your senator or representative.

Capitol Connection | Alabama Farmers Federation | (334) 288-3900 | Alfafarmers.org

 Matthew Durdin - Director, External Affairs Department
 Preston Roberts - Director, Agricultural Legislation
Casey Rogers, Director, State Legislative Programs
John Allen Nichols, Agriculture Counsel
Beth Chapman, Beth Chapman and Associates, LLC