Thursday, April 26, 2012
ALABAMA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK 11
The Alabama House and Senate completed their 22nd and 23rd legislative days of the 2012 Regular Session on Tuesday and Thursday.
Nearly a year after the deadly storms that struck the State, the Alabama legislature approved a tax incentive bill aimed at disaster preparedness supplies. House Bill 436 passed the Senate 28-0 and the House 87-0 Thursday. The bill was immediately signed into law by Governor Robert Bentley. "Signing this the day before April 27 is very important," Bentley said. The bill specifies that the tax-free weekend will be held July 6-8 this year and in the last full weekend in February for subsequent years. Items targeted by the bill include batteries, cell phone chargers, portable radios, waterproof sheeting, generators, plywood, weather radios, and duct tape. This was one of the twenty recommendations made by the Governor's Tornado Recovery Action Council, a group tasked with reviewing and developing a set of action-oriented recommendations in response to the April storms.
A measure to require the Department of Revenue to offer a single point of filing for sales and use tax was approved by the legislature on Tuesday, April 24. The bill, SB459 by Senator Slade Blackwell, would significantly simplify the tax process for entities with locations in multiple Alabama taxing jurisdictions. Under current law, businesses must file sales and use tax returns each month in each taxing jurisdiction in which they are located. Under Senator Blackwell's bill (as with the House version sponsored by Representative Jack Williams), businesses would be able to file their returns with the Alabama Department of Revenue.
The Alabama legislature unanimously passed a bill banning texting and driving Thursday night. The bill includes a fine of $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense and $75 for a third or subsequent offense. The compromised version of House Bill 2, by Representative Jim McClendon, prohibits sending text messages, instant messages, and e-mails while behind the wheel. It provides exceptions for contacting emergency services and for using global position services.
On Thursday, immigration reform legislation (House Bill 658) received a favorable report from the Senate Judiciary Committee. House Bill 658 is expected to be debated on the Senate floor on Tuesday. A second immigration reform bill (Senate Bill 541), sponsored by Senator Scott Beason, was introduced this week and also received a favorable report for the Senate Job Creation and Economic Development committee on Tuesday morning. It's expected that the Republican leadership will focus on House Bill 658 prior to addressing Senate Bill 541.
2012 Regular Session resumes on Tuesday, May 1st when the Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. The House of Representatives will reconvene on the same day at 1:00 p.m.
The remainder of the 2012 Regular Session is rumored to be the following:
Tuesday, May 1, 24th Day; Wednesday, May 2, 25th Day; Thursday, May 3, 26th Day; Tuesday, May 8, 27th Day; Wednesday, May 9, 28th Day; Thursday, May 10, 29th Day
Recess Regular Session; Convene Special Session to consider legislative redistricting:
Monday, May 14, Tuesday, May 15, Wednesday, May 16, Thursday, May 17, Friday, May 18
Final Day of Regular Session:
Monday, May 21, 30th Day
This Alert is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship. For more information or an explanation about the matters discussed in this Alert, please contact one of the attorneys listed above.