2011 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature

Committee Action Schedule

House Committees
Senate Committees

Week of May 23, 2011

Senate Commerce Transportation & Utilities Committee
This committee meets at 11 a.m. Tuesday to consider Rep. McCutcheon’s HB 399, known as tax at the rack. The bill would change the point at which gasoline and diesel taxes are collected and shift enforcement to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Please urge committee members to support this legislation.

Senate Commerce, Transportation & Utilities: Allen, chairperson;Reed, vice chairperson; Holtzclaw,McGill, Ross, Scofield, Smith.

House Boards, Agencies & Commissions Committee
This panel meets at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday to consider HB 312 by Rep. Millican, a bill to rewrite state law about 9-1-1 governance and fees. A substitute bill, which complies with Association policy, will be offered in committee. Please contact committee members of the committee and ask them to support the substitute.

House Boards, Agencies & Commissions: Howard Sanderford, chair; Elwyn Thomas, vice chair; Thomas Jackson, ranking minority member;Mac Buttram, Allen Farley, Todd Greeson, Joe Hubbard, A.J. McCampbell, Darrio Melton, Joseph Mitchell, Bill Roberts, Jack Williams, vacant.

House Agriculture & Forestry Committee
The Association is still in talks with the Alabama Forestry Association about forestry’s bill to create a notification system for loggers to use when accessing county roads but no compromise has been reached. The bill is on the committee agenda for Wednesday morning at 9. Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose HB 487 by Rep. Tuggle unless county objections are removed.

House Agriculture & Forestry: Chad Fincher, chair; Steve Hurst, vice chair;Richard Lindsey, ranking minority member; Donnie Chesteen, Randy Davis, Joe Faust, Dexter Grimsley, Paul Lee, A.J. McCampbell.

House Economic Development & Tourism Committee
This committee is scheduled to have a public hearing Wednesday morning at 11 on SB 152 by Sen. Bussman. This bill would allow a tax credit against noneducation property taxes for expansion or relocation projects. Ask committee members to oppose the bill unless an amendment is adopted that would make it optional for counties to participate in the tax credit.

House Economic Development & Tourism: Barry Mask, chair; Micky Hammon, vice chair; Yvonne Kennedy, ranking minority member; Alan Baker, Mike Ball, K. L. Brown, Terri Collins, Berry Forte, Alan Harper, Joe Hubbard, Ron Johnson, John Merrill, James Patterson, Bill Roberts, Rod Scott.

In Other Action in the Senate…

Senate Rules Committee
The Senate version of the Association-opposed timber harvesting bill (see above) is out of committee. In the Senate, please urge members of the Rules Committee to oppose placing the SB 376 by Sen. Whatley on the approved list unless county objections are removed.

Senate Rules Committee: Beason, chairperson; Holley, vice chairperson; Bedford, Brooks, Dial, Dunn, Figures, Glover, Irons, Orr; Pittman, Sanford, Waggoner.

Retirement contributions
A bill (HB 414 by Rep. Love) to increase the share of retirement costs paid by employees is in position for a floor vote in the Senate, and the Association is seeking a floor amendment to it. The amendment, which has been worked out with the Retirement Systems of Alabama, would make it optional for counties to participate in these increases. The amendment was endorsed last week by the Association of County Administrators of Alabama during the group’s conference. Please encourage senators to support the county amendment to HB 414.

Internet bidding
Sen. Marsh’s SB 195 would require counties to accept online bids, and this Association-opposed bill has been carried over on the Senate floor. The bill would pose an administrative and financial burden on counties, and it threatens local businesses.  Sen. Brewbaker has an amendment that would make online bidding optional instead of mandatory. Urge your senators to support the Brewbaker amendment when this issue is brought up again – the bill doesn’t need to pass without it.

Homebuilders’ exemption
Currently homes which are under construction are treated as business property unless they are being constructed by the property owner. This legislation (HB 179 by Rep. Jack Williams) would treat such homes – which are built by construction or homebuilding corporations – as though they are an individual’s residence. This change would reduce county revenue and establish a dangerous precedent for future similar exemptions for all construction property. A costly amendment was added in Senate committee that broadens the bill beyond its original scope. Urge your senators to strip the committee amendment when the bill comes up for a floor vote.

In Other Action in the House…

Jailer liability protection
The House is scheduled to consider HB 125 by Rep. Merrill, the Association’s top priority for 2011, on Tuesday. This is the jailer liability protection bill that would provide clearly that the actions of jailers are actions of the sheriff and as such, jailers are entitled to the same liability protections granted to the sheriff under Alabama law. An amendment made in a House committee needs to be stripped, so ask your House members to support this measure and follow the sponsor’s lead on amendments.

Occupational tax
As a proposed constitutional amendment, this legislation (HB 124 by Rep. Merrill) would make it almost impossible for a county to levy an occupational tax without passing a local constitutional amendment approved by a vote of the people. Although few counties have the ability to levy such a tax, the Association opposes the establishment of such major roadblocks to a revenue stream that could be utilized sometime in the future. The House version of this proposal will be on the House’s working agenda for Tuesday.Urge your House members to oppose this legislation.

 

Week of May 2, 2011

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
This committee meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday to vote on HB 162 by Rep. McMillan, which would clarify when city or county subdivision regulations apply in a municipal planning jurisdiction.

A second Association bill was pulled from the agenda on Friday, and we are working to resolve issues so that the committee can take it up this week. The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission bill (HB 355 by Rep. Hill, bill overview) would create a commission developing the programs and procedures necessary to bring Alabama into compliance with the Streamlined Sales & Use Tax Agreement in the event federal legislation adopting the agreement becomes law.

Contact committee members and urge them to support both these measures.

Senate Governmental Affairs: Holley, chairperson ; Bedford, vice chairperson; Beason, Brewbaker, Coleman, Dunn, Figures, Orr, Pittman, Sanford, Taylor

House Agriculture and Forestry Committee
This committee has scheduled a public hearing for 9 a.m. Wednesday on HB 487 by Rep. Tuggle, a bill to exempt loggers from county permits and bonding requirements, allowing timber operations to begin simply after the timber buyer has provided “notice” to the county commission. The bill still presents a serious liability challenge for county governments while also making it extremely difficult to address those loggers who are not willing to conduct their operations in a safe and responsible manner.

Contact committee members and urge them to oppose this dangerous legislation.

House Agriculture & Forestry: Chad Fincher, chair; Steve Hurst, vice chair ; Richard Lindsey, ranking minority member; Donnie Chesteen, Randy Davis, Joe Faust, Dexter Grimsley, Paul Lee, A.J. McCampbell

Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee
This panel meets at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for a public hearing on a bill (SB 10 by Sen. Brooks) that would provide for an annual cost-of-living adjustment to the homestead exemption on property taxes. This proposal would reduce already scarce county revenue, and the Association has opposed piecemeal efforts to reform the ad valorem tax system, saying that what is needed is a comprehensive look.

Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose this legislation.

Finance & Taxation Education: Pittman, chairperson; Dial, vice chairperson; Allen, Beason, Bedford, Blackwell, Figures, Orr, Sanders, Smitherman, Waggoner, Whatley, Taylor

 

Week of April 11, 2011

House Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure Committee
This committee meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider HB 399 by Rep. McCutcheon, the ACCA bill that would change the point at which gasoline and diesel fuel taxes are levied. Association staff members are working with other interested parties to develop a substitute agreeable to all affected entities. Other states that have adopted similar bills have realized an increase in gasoline and diesel fuel revenue.

Contact committee members and ask them to support this legislation in the form recommended by the Association staff.

House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure: Mac McCutcheon, chair; Victor Gaston, vice chair; Richard Laird, ranking minority member; George Bandy, Richard Baughn, Mac Buttram, Merica Coleman, Joe Faust, Mike Jones, Yvonne Kennedy, Bill Roberts, John Robinson, Kurt Wallace

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
This panel meets at 2 p.m. Tuesday to consider SB 93 by Sen. Bedford. As written, it would allow sheriffs to enter into agreements for regional jail facilities without involving their county commissions. 

Please contact committee members to oppose this bill unless it is amended to include the county commissions.

Senate Governmental Affairs: Holley, Chairperson ; Bedford, Vice Chairperson; Beason, Brewbaker, Coleman, Dunn, Figures, Orr, Pittman, Sanford, Taylor

Senate Judiciary Committee
This committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider seven “sentencing reform” bills.

Urge committee members to remember they cannot “fix” the state corrections system by passing the overcrowding problem on to the county jail system.

Senate Judiciary: Brooks, co-chairperson; Ward, c o-chairperson; Fielding, Keahey, Orr, Smitherman, Taylor, Whatley, Williams, Brewbaker

House Ways & Means General Fund Committee
This committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for a public hearing on a proposal (HB 375 by Rep. Jack Williams) to dramatically increase the income qualification levels for property tax breaks for the elderly and disabled. It is projected to cost counties $5.7 million a year in lost revenue.

Contact committee members and ask them to oppose this legislation.

House Ways & Means General Fund: Jim Barton, chair; Steve Clouse, vice chair; Richard Laird, ranking minority member; Merika Coleman, Victor Gaston, Lynn Greer, Laura Hall, Ken Johnson, John Knight, Wes Long, Mac McCutcheon, Mike Millican, Charles Newton, Elwyn Thomas, Greg Wren

House Agriculture & Forestry
This committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday to consider SB 123 by Sen. Whatley. This bill would provide that the Department of Agriculture and Industries would have sole regulatory oversight over fertilizer application. ACCA is seeking an amendment to clarify that the department could not regulate county application of fertilizer on county property.

Please encourage committee members to support the county amendment.  

House Agriculture & Forestry: Chad Fincher, chair; Steve Hurst, vice chair ; Richard Lindsey, ranking minority member; Donnie Chesteen, Randy Davis, Joe Faust, Dexter Grimsley, Paul Lee, A.J. McCampbell

Week of April 4, 2011

Senate Judiciary Committee
This committeemeets at 8 a.m. Wednesday to consider Dial’s SB 226, a bill that would make changes to Alabama’s Criminal Justice Information Center. The Association has negotiated with the bill’s supporters on amendments to limit fees charged to counties.

Contact committee members and urge them to support the county amendment.

Senate Judiciary: Brooks, Co-Chairperson;Ward, Co-Chairperson;Fielding, Keahey, Orr, Smitherman, Taylor, Whatley, Williams, Brewbaker

House Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure Committee
This committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday to consider the “Tax at the Rack” legislation, HB 399 by McCutcheon. This ACCA legislation that would shift the collection point for motor fuel and gasoline taxes in Alabama was introduced last week. The legislation is supported by Gov. Robert Bentley and is expected to be on a special order calendar in the House as early as next week. If implemented correctly and with the appropriately established enforcement procedures, the measure should produce an increase in gasoline and diesel fuel taxes.

Contact committee members and encourage them to support strong enforcement provisions in this proposal.

House Transportation, Utilities & Infrastructure: Mac McCutcheon, Chair; Victor Gaston, Vice Chair; Richard Laird, Ranking Minority Member; George Bandy, Richard Baughn, Mac Buttram, Merica Coleman, Joe Faust, Mike Jones, Yvonne Kennedy, Bill Roberts, John Robinson, Kurt Wallace

House County & Municipal Government Committee
This panel meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider four bills of interest.

  • The first is an ACCA bill (HB 162 by McMillan) that would provide that if the county has adopted subdivision regulations to apply in the unincorporated areas of the county, the county will be responsible for enforcing those regulations within the municipal planning commission’s jurisdiction unless there is a written agreement between the county and the municipal planning commission authorizing the municipal planning commission to assume responsibility. Negotiations with the League of Municipalities on this proposal have moved forward, and we anticipate a vote in committee this week.
  • The second bill, HB 324 by Greeson, would require property reappraisals every four years. While similar legislation has not moved in past years, there is concern that the new leadership may support this proposal, so it is very important that counties contact committee members to explain the negative impact this would have on state and county revenues.
  • The third bill, HB 283 by Bridges, would automatically remove property from county industrial parks under certain circumstances. This bill threatens the county’s authority to establish and develop industrial parks. Please ask committee members to oppose this dangerous legislation.
  • HB 390 by Beech would exempt volunteer fire departments from garbage fees. Ask committee members to support only if the exemption is made at the county commission’s discretion.

House County & Municipal Government: Steve McMillan, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Demetrius Newton, Ranking Minority Member, George Bandy, Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, Owen Drake, Allen Farley, Jeremy Oden, Patricia Todd, Dan Williams.

House Commerce & Small Business Committee
This committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday to consider two bills of interest. The first, HB 355 by Hill, would be a step toward taxing internet sales. It would create a commission charged with developing the programs and procedures necessary to bring Alabama into compliance with the Streamline Sales Tax Agreement in the event federal legislation adopting the agreement becomes law. The Commission, composed of persons appointed by the Department of Revenue, the ACCA, and the Alabama League of Municipalities, would also identify provisions of Alabama’s sales tax laws which would need to be amended to bring the state into compliance with the Streamline Sales Tax Agreement.

The second, HB 406 by Baker, would enact a two-year moratorium on new landfills.

Contact committee members and ask them to support the Streamline Sales Tax bill and ask them to oppose the landfill moratorium.

Commerce & Small Business: Greg Canfield, Chair; Jack Williams, Vice Chair; Craig Ford, Ranking Minority Member;Richard Baughn, David Colston, Blaine Galliher, Barry Moore, Kurt Wallace, Pebblin Warren.

House State Government Committee
This committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday to consider a bill (HB 365 by Ison) by that would require internet sellers to inform Alabama purchasers that they are required to pay certain state and local sales taxes. ACCA is negotiating with the bill’s supporters for provisions affecting county interests.

Contact committee members and make sure county amendments are added to the bill.

State Government: Jamie Ison, Chair; Mike Hill, Vice Chair; Johnny Mack Morrow, Ranking Minority Member; Barbara Boyd, Ralph Howard, Jim McClendon, Becky Nordgren, Harry Shiver, Mark Tuggle.

Week of March 28, 2011

Senate Governmental Affairs

This committee gathers Tuesday at 1 p.m. to consider two bills that matter to counties. The first, SB 93 by Roger Bedford, would, as written, allow sheriffs to enter into agreements for regional jail facilities without involving the county commission.  Please contact committee members to oppose this bill unless it is amended to include the county commissions. The second, SB 227 by Gerald Dial, would require county commissions to go to court to enforce restrictions in county industrial parks. It would also require counties to abolish the park if businesses asked for it to be abolished. Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose this bill.

Senate Governmental Affairs: Holley, Chairperson; Bedford, Vice Chairperson; Beason, Brewbaker, Coleman, Dunn, Figures, Orr, Pittman, Sanford, Taylor.

Senate Job Creation & Economic Development Committee

This panel meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday to consider an immigration reform proposal (SB 256 by Beason). Like the other major immigration proposal moving in the Legislature, this bill has serious problems that need to be corrected. It would increase the population in county jails and create significant financial and administrative burdens. Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose this legislation.

Senate Job Creation & Economic Development:  Sanford, Chairperson; Blackwell, Vice Chairperson; Beason, Coleman, Fielding, Irons, Reed, Scofield, Williams. 

House Constitution, Campaigns & Elections

This committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. to consider an Association bill, SB139 by Trip Pittman. This bill would address problems with the reimbursement of elections expenses.  Currently, routine and necessary election expenses – such as storing and transporting voting machines – are not reimbursable. Please contact committee members and urge them to support this bill.

House Constitution, Campaigns & Elections: Randy Davis, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Richard Lindsey, Ranking Minority Member; Paul Beckman, Paul DeMarco, Juandalynn Givan, John Merrill, Barry Moore, Demetrius Newton.

 House Ways & Means Education

The contractor’s tax exemption for contracts with public entities is on the agenda in this committee at 9 a.m. Wednesday. This was repealed a few years back in a supposedly temporary way, and the exemption is long overdue for reinstatement. Please contact committee members and urge them to support this measure, HB 284 by Randy Wood.

House Ways & Means Education:Jay Love, Chair; Mary Sue McClurkin, Vice Chair; James Buskey, Ranking Minority Member; Terri Collins, Craig Ford, Alan Harper, Jamie Ison, Barry Mask, Steve McMillan, Jeremy Oden, Bill Poole, John Rogers, Rod Scott, Mark Tuggle, Phil Williams.

House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee

This committee meets at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday to consider a bill to make changes to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, HB 259 by Wren. The Association is studying the bill to determine what the costs to the counties will be. Please contact committee members and ask them to make sure the bill does not add fees that counties would have to pay.

House Public Safety & Homeland Security: Micky Hammon, Chair; Owen Drake, Vice Chair; Charles Newton, Ranking Minority Member; Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, David Colston, Allen Farley, Wayne Johnson, Harry Shiver.

House County & Municipal Government

This committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider several bills of county interest:

  • SB 90 by Bryan Taylor is intended to “undo” the results of a recent appellate court case finding that county jailers can be sued individually for actions performed within the line and scope of their employment, would provide clearly that the actions of jailers are actions of the sheriff and as such, jailers are entitled to the same immunity protections granted to the sheriff under Alabama law. This is an Association bill. Please contact committee members and ask for their support.
  • HB 162 by Steve McMillan is another Association bill that would  amend current law regarding the regulation and enforcement of subdivision regulations within the territorial jurisdiction of a municipal planning commission to provide that if the county has adopted subdivision regulations to apply in the unincorporated areas of the county, the county will be responsible for enforcing those regulations within the municipal planning commission’s jurisdiction unless there is a written agreement between the county and the municipal planning commission authorizing the municipal planning commission to assume responsibility.  We have encountered significant pushback from the League of Municipalities, so it is critical for you to contact committee members and ask for their support.
  • The Association has requested public hearings on two danger bills. One of these bills (HB 283 by Bridges) would require county commissions to go to court to enforce restrictions in county industrial parks. It would also require counties to abolish the park if businesses asked for it to be abolished. Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose this bill.The second bill (HB 11 by Scott) would annex “islands” of unincorporated land that are completely surrounded by a municipality.  We anticipate a substitute to the island annexation bill that would take care of our concerns, but please ask committee members not to support this bill unless amended to remove concerns of county government.

House County & Municipal Government:Steve McMillan, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Demetrius Newton, Ranking Minority Member,George Bandy, Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, Owen Drake, Allen Farley, Jeremy Oden, Patricia Todd, Dan Williams.

House & Senate Judiciary Committees

The package of bills supported by the Sentencing Commission and the chief justice’s Sentencing Coalition will be the subject of a joint public hearing Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The Association is concerned with several of these bills because it is anticipated that they will increase housing levels in county jails, and we will be testifying at the hearing. Many of these bills are featured on the Association’s Danger Bill Report from March 16.Please contact members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and ask them not to support any legislation that would result in clogging the county jails.

House Judiciary Committee: Paul DeMarco, Chair; Howard Sanderford, Vice Chair; Thad McClammy, Ranking Minority Member; Paul Beckman, Daniel Boman, Duwayne Bridges, Greg Burdine, Chris England, Juandalynn Givan, Todd Greeson, Wayne Johnson, Mike Jones, Bill Poole, John Robinson, Allen Treadaway.

Senate Judiciary Committee: Brooks, Co-Chairperson; Ward, Co-Chairperson; Fielding, Keahey, Orr, Smitherman, Taylor, Whatley, Williams, Brewbaker

House Ways & Means General Fund Committee

This committee meets at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday to consider HB 254 by Ron Johnson. This bill would increase the service of process fee from $10 to $22, increasing the county portion of the fee from $3 to $6. Please contact committee members and urge them to support this bill.

House Ways & Means General Fund: Jim Barton, Chair; Steve Clouse, Vice Chair; Richard Laird, Ranking Minority Member; Merika Coleman, Victor Gaston, Lynn Greer, Laura Hall, Ken Johnson, John Knight, Wes Long, Mac McCutcheon, Mike Millican, Charles Newton, Elwyn Thomas, Greg Wren.

Week of March 21, 2011

House County and Municipal Government
This committee has two important items on its agenda at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The first is an Association bill (HB 162 by Steve McMillan) about subdivision regulations. It would provide that if the county has adopted subdivision regulations to apply in the unincorporated areas of the county, the county will be responsible for enforcing those regulations within the municipal planning commission’s jurisdiction unless there is a written agreement between the county and the municipal planning commission authorizing the municipal planning commission to assume responsibility. Passage of this bill would ensure that subdivision development is properly regulated so that roads and other infrastructure are properly constructed.

The League of Municipalities has expressed concerns about this legislation.  While we are scheduled to meet with them this afternoon, it is possible that they will ask committee members to delay action on this bill on Tuesday.  Therefore, it is very important for county engineers to contact their senators on this committee to ask that they not delay action and support this important legislation.

Engineers, we need someone from the committee members’ counties (listed below) to join us in room 622 of the State House. Please call committee members and urge them to SUPPORT our bill!

The other bill of interest is a ban on occupational taxes. Although few counties have the ability to levy such a tax, the Association opposes the establishment of such major roadblocks to a revenue stream that could be utilized sometime in the future.

Please contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE the occupational tax ban.

Steve McMillan, Chair – Baldwin
Randy Wood, Vice Chair – Calhoun and St. Clair
Demetrius NewtonRanking Minority Member– Jefferson
George Bandy Lee and Russell
Alan BootheDale and Pike
Napoleon BracyMobile
Owen DrakeSt. Clair and Jefferson
Allen FarleyJefferson
Jeremy OdenBlount, Cullman and Morgan
Patricia ToddJefferson
Dan WilliamsLimestone

Senate Governmental Affairs
The Senate version of the Association’s subdivision regulations bill is up in this committee Tuesday afternoon at 1. The bill (SB 169by Arthur Orr) is described in detail above.

Please contact committee members and ask them to support this important proposal. It would also be good if any engineers could make plans to attend the committee meeting on Tuesday. It’s in room 727 of the State House.   

Holley, Chairperson – Coffee, Covington, Dale, Houston
Bedford, Vice Chairperson-- Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lawrence, Marion, Winston
BeasonBlount, Jefferson, St. Clair
BrewbakerMontgomery, Elmore
ColemanJefferson
DunnJefferson
Figures Mobile
OrrLimestone, Madison, Morgan
Pittman Baldwin
SanfordMadison
TaylorAutauga, Butler, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, Pike

Senate Finance & Taxation – Education Committee
Opponents to our school tax election bill have called a public hearing in this committee for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. The bill, SB 177 by Gerald Dial, would establish timeframes and procedures for calling ad valorem school tax elections, whereby the school board would have deadlines for petitioning the county commission to have the issue included on a general election ballot. Additionally, this legislation would require the school board to pay all costs of a special election in the event the school board petitioned the county commission to call for a special election.

It would be great to have some county officials there in room 727 to demonstrate support. Also, calls to committee members would be appreciated.

Pittman, Chairperson; Dial, Vice Chairperson; Allen, Beason, Bedford, Blackwell, Figures, Orr, Sanders, Smitherman, Waggoner, Whatley, Taylor

House Judiciary
This committee is set to consider the Association’s Jailer Liability Protection bill, HB 125 by John Merrill, at its meeting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.  This legislation, intended to “undo” the results of a recent appellate court case finding that county jailers can be sued individually for actions performed within the line and scope of their employment, would provide clearly that the actions of jailers are actions of the sheriff and as such, jailers are entitled to the same immunity protections granted to the sheriff under Alabama law.

The same amendments as were applied to the Senate version will be offered in the House, so we believe we have worked through any opposition. We urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to support this important proposal.

Paul DeMarco, Chair; Howard Sanderford, Vice Chair; Thad McClammy, Ranking Minority Member; Paul Beckman, Daniel Boman, Duwayne Bridges, Greg Burdine, Chris England, Juandalynn Givan, Todd Greeson, Wayne Johnson, Mike Jones, Arthur Payne, Bill Poole, John Robinson.

House Agriculture & Forestry Committee
This committee gathers at 3 p.m. Wednesday to consider Rep. Elwyn Thomas’HB 188 dealing with agricultural tourist attractions. The bill would require the Department of Agriculture and Industries to define and approve agricultural tourist attractions, and it would allow for the placement of directional signs to direct traffic to these attractions. The Association wants to amend the bill so that county commissions would have to approve before any signs could be placed on county roads.

Engineers, please contact committee members and ask them to support the bill only if the Association amendment is adopted.

Chad Fincher, Chair; Steve Hurst, Vice Chair; Richard Lindsey, Ranking Minority Member; Donnie Chesteen, Randy Davis, Joe Faust, Dexter Grimsley, Paul Lee, A.J. McCampbell

House Commerce & Small Business Committee
This committee meets at 3 p.m. Wednesday to consider a danger bill. Currently homes which are under construction are treated as business property unless they are being constructed by the property owner. This legislation (HB 179 by Rep. Jack Williams) would treat such homes – which are built by construction or homebuilding corporations – as though they are an individual’s residence. This change would reduce county revenue at least $890,000 a year and establish a dangerous precedent for future similar exemptions for all construction property.

We urge you to contact committee members and ask them to OPPOSE this dangerous bill.

Greg Canfield, Chair; Jack Williams, Vice Chair; Craig Ford, Ranking Minority Member; Richard Baughn, David Colston, Blaine Galliher, Barry Moore, Kurt Wallace, Pebblin Warren.

Senate Finance & Taxation – General Fund Committee
The week before spring break, this committee carried over a bill (SB126 by Tom Whatley) that would grant banks an exemption from the financial institutions excise tax based on expenditures on research and business expansion. Counties receive 25 percent of the proceeds of this tax and the Association strongly opposes the abatement of county revenue without the approval of the impacted county commission.

Please contact committee members and ask them to OPPOSE this bill that would reduce already scarce county funding.

Orr, Chairperson; Beasley, Bedford, Brewbaker, Dunn, Holtzclaw, Pittman, Sanford, Singleton, Ward, Waggoner, Williams.

__________________________________________

Week of March 7, 2011

Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, this panel is set to consider Trip Pittman’s SB 139, an Association bill that would more properly and completely define which election expenses are to be reimbursed to the county by the state following a primary, runoff, or general election.

We urge you to contact committee members and ask them to give the bill a favorable report. Bill overview

Taylor, Chairperson; Williams, Vice Chairperson; Beasley, Bussman, Irons, McGill, Pittman, Orr

Senate Job Creation and Economic Development
The Association’s request for a public hearing was granted for 1 p.m. Tuesday on SB 152 by Paul Bussman. This bill would allow a tax credit against noneducation property taxes for expansion or relocation projects.

We urge you to ask committee members to oppose this bill unless counties have the opportunity to consent on county taxes being part of the credit.

Sanford, Chairperson; Blackwell, Vice Chairperson;Beason, Coleman, Fielding, Irons, Reed, Scofield, Williams


Senate Governmental Affairs
This committee is scheduled to consider the Association’s jailer protection bill at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The bill , intended to “undo” the results of a recent appellate court case finding that county jailers can be sued individually for actions performed within the line and scope of their employment, would provide clearly that the actions of jailers are actions of the sheriff and as such, jailers are entitled to the same immunity protections granted to the sheriff under Alabama law.

We urge you join us in room 727 of the State House for this vote. If you can’t be present, please contact committee members and ask them to give SB90 by Bryan Taylor a favorable report.

Holley, Chairperson; Bedford, Vice Chairperson; Beason, Brewbaker, Coleman, Dunn, Figures, Orr, Pittman, Sanford, Taylor.

House Constitution, Campaigns and Elections
On Wednesday morning at 9, this committee is scheduled to vote on HB 54 by Randy Wood, an Association bill to more properly and completely define which election expenses are to be reimbursed to the county by the state following a primary, runoff, or general election.

We urge you to contact committee members and ask them to give the bill a favorable report. Bill overview

Randy Davis, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Richard Lindsey, Ranking Minority Member; Paul Beckman, Paul DeMarco, Juandalynn Givan, John Merrill, Barry Moore, Demetrius Newton


Senate Finance and Taxation/General Fund
The committee has scheduled two public hearings at the Association’s request, both during a 10:30 a.m. Wednesday meeting. SB 111 by Arthur Orr is a constitutional amendment to ban occupational taxes. SB 126 by Tom Whatley would create a tax credit against the financial institutions excise tax, of which counties receive a portion.

Please contact committee members and ask them to oppose both these measures.

Orr, Chairperson; Beasley, Bedford, Brewbaker, Dunn, Holtzclaw, Pittman, Sanford, Singleton, Ward, Waggoner, Williams.

House County and Municipal Government
This committee has two important items on its agenda at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. The first is an Association bill (HB 162 by Steve McMillan) about subdivision regulations. It would provide that if the county has adopted subdivision regulations to apply in the unincorporated areas of the county, the county will be responsible for enforcing those regulations within the municipal planning commission’s jurisdiction unless there is a written agreement between the county and the municipal planning commission authorizing the municipal planning commission to assume responsibility. Passage of this bill would ensure that subdivision development is properly regulated so that roads and other infrastructure are properly constructed.

The second item of interest on the agenda is an Association-requested public hearing on John Merrill’s HB 124, which is a constitutional amendment to ban occupational taxes.

Engineers, we urge you to join us (State House room 622) for this committee meeting, and we urge everyone to contact committee members and ask them to oppose HB 124 and support HB 162.

Steve McMillan, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Demetrius Newton, Ranking Minority Member, George Bandy, Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, Owen Drake, Allen Farley, Jeremy Oden, Patricia Todd, Dan Williams.

__________________________________________

Week of Feb. 28, 2011

House Public Safety & Homeland Security
A public hearing is set for Wednesday at 9 a.m. on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, HB 56 by Rep. Mickey Hammon. The bill would force local governments to enforce federal immigration laws, and it has two costly provisions for counties. One provision would require counties to determine the legal status of everyone arrested. If arrestees could not prove legal status, the county would have to hold them until they can prove legal residency. Secondly, if residency still could not be verified, counties would have to deliver arrestees to the nearest federal facility. This pair of provisions would increase costs for counties.

We urge you to contact committee members and ask them to remove provisions that counties hold and/or transport pre-trial detainees.

Micky Hammon, Chair; Owen Drake, Vice Chair; Charles Newton, Ranking Minority Member; Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, David Colston, Allen Farley, Wayne Johnson, Harry Shiver.

House County & Municipal Government
The Association requested a public hearing in this committee on HB 11 by Rep. Rod Scott, and the hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. This bill would allow municipalities to annex “islands” of unincorporated land that are surrounded on all sides by the municipality, and it would allow them to do this across county lines.

The Association opposes annexation without landowner approval. There are also concerns about crossing county lines and maintenance of county roads within the annexed area.

We urge you to contact committee members and ask them to carry the bill over.

Steve McMillan, Chair; Randy Wood, Vice Chair; Demetrius Newton, Ranking Minority Member, George Bandy, Alan Boothe, Napoleon Bracy, Owen Drake, Allen Farley, Jeremy Oden, Patricia Todd, Dan Williams.

House Ways and Means – General Fund
This committee has a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on a bill (HB 59 by Rep. Barry Mask) to repeal the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). As introduced, the bill would repeal DROP for counties that have opted to participate in the plan. It is always a concern when the Legislature acts for counties, and so the Association plans to testify.


If you have questions about any legislation, please contact the ACCA staff at (334) 263-7594.

 


Association of County Commissions of Alabama

100 North Jackson Street | Montgomery AL, 36104 | 334-263-7594 | FAX 334-263-7678

Conference & Events | Legislative News | County Joint Bid Project | ACCA Magazine
Affiliate Groups | Publications | Education Courses | Attorney General Opinions
About the ACCA | Insurance | County Job Listings | Links | Home