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2015 Legislative Update - Week 3

The Alabama Legislature completed its third week of the 2015 regular legislative session. Eight legislative days have been completed with 22 legislative days remaining. Work on the General Fund Budget and the Governor’s revenue proposals will begin the week the legislature returns from Spring Break (March 31st).

Among the bills ASEA is tracking include:

SB 203, sponsored by Senator Orr, would merge the Department of Forestry into the Department of Agriculture. SB 203 was assigned to the Finance and Taxation Committee.

SB 212, sponsored by Senators Tim Melson, Dick Brewbaker, Shay Shelnutt, Larry Stutts, Gig Albritton and Arthur Orr, would allow state agencies to have up to two additional exempt employees. SB 212 was assigned to Senate Finance & Taxation Committee.

SB 216, sponsored by Senator Gerald Dial, would allow a state agency to levy or assess fees that are retained by the agency to fund its operations. SB 216 was assigned to the Finance & Taxation Committee.

HB 29, sponsored by Representative Randy Wood, would allow a member of ERS who is out of state service for a job related injury to purchase credit for such time. On Wednesday this legislation passed the House of Representatives and was assigned to the Senate Committee on Finance & Taxation Education.

HB 39, sponsored by Representative Donnie Chesteen, would require the state to provide state employees and education employees with a list of their benefits and value of said benefits annually. It has passed the House of Representatives and was assigned to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

HB 90, sponsored by Representative Mike Holmes, was assigned to the House Education Policy Committee. HB 90 and its companion bill SB 24, by Senator Clay Scofield, would merge certain employees from post-secondary education into the Department of Labor under the Merit System. SB 24 passed the Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility & Economic Development Committee and is now pending on the Senate calendar.

HB 224, sponsored by Representative Steve McMillian, was assigned to the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee. This legislation would tax tobacco products, including consumable vapor products.

HB 267, sponsored by Representative Steve Clouse, would increase motor vehicle rental tax to 4%. HB 267 was assigned to Ways & Means General Fund Committee.

HB 268, sponsored by Representative Steve Clouse, would increase the sales and use tax on motor vehicles to 3%. HB 268 was assigned to Ways & Means General Fund Committee.

HB 276, sponsored by Representative Chris England, was referred to the Ways & Means General Fund Committee. HB 276 would impose a license tax of 2.2% on any public, private or municipal utility.

HB 277, sponsored by Representative John Knight, was referred to the Ways & Means General Fund Committee. HB 277 would remove tax credits from the insurance premium tax, thus increasing revenue to the General Fund.

HB 267, HB 268, HB 276 and HB 277 are scheduled for a public hearing on April 1, 2015 in House Ways & Means General Fund Committee.

SB 76, sponsored by Senator Marsh, was assigned to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. This legislation would consolidate functions of the Alabama Building Commission under the Finance Director. On Wednesday this legislation passed committee as amended and is pending action on the Senate calendar.

SB 100, sponsored by Senator Rusty Glover, was assigned to the Governmental Affairs Committee. This legislation would remove the cap on donated sick leave.

SB 115, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, was assigned to the Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund Committee. This bill privatizes ABC. Its enactment would cost well over 640 state employee jobs and may well cost the General Fund and General Fund agencies money.

HB 45, sponsored by Representative Patricia Todd and HB 139, sponsored by Representative Steve McMillian, would increase the fees currently charged on tobacco products. Both bills are pending in the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee. HB 45 is scheduled for a public hearing in committee on April 1, 2015.

HB 76, sponsored by Representatives Randall Shedd and Ed Henry, was assigned to the House Committee on State Government. This legislation would create a committee for performance-based pay applicable to all state agencies. The legislation would base state employee pay on performance of the agency or department they worked for. This legislation would seem to circumvent the Merit System. ASEA opposes this legislation.

HB 100, by Representatives John Rogers and Mary Moore, was assigned to the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee. This legislation would place all correctional officers, law enforcement officers and state police employees under Tier I of the Retirement Systems of Alabama regardless of their hire date.

HB 114, a Constitutional amendment, sponsored by Representative Thad McClammy, would provide that a COLA for state employees may not become effective unless the increase also applies to public education employees and retired state and public education employees.

HB 135, the Governor’s General Fund budget, sponsored by Representative Steve Clouse. The General Fund budget generally level funds state agencies with increases to Corrections and Medicaid. Retirement, the state’s contribution as mandated by law, is funded.

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