Week Eight of the 2023 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

This week, the House passed Rep. Anthony Daniels’ (D-Huntsville) overtime pay legislation, which would remove the state income tax on overtime pay for Alabama workers. The House Ways and Means Education Committee gave a favorable report to HB293, Rep. Chip Brown’s (R-Mobile) port of Alabama incentive bill. Additionally, HB378 relating to Brownfield remediation, also by Rep. Brown, received a favorable report from the House Committee on Economic Development & Tourism. BCA supports all three of these bills.

The Senate Committee on State Governmental Affairs favorably reported SB220 as amended by Senator Tom Butler (R-Madison) on Wednesday. The amendments adopted help to ensure that if a patient is denied a prescription by a pharmacist based on insufficient revenue from a particular drug, the patient will be directed by their health plan to a pharmacy that will fill their prescription.

The Senate Taxation and Education Committee passed the Education Trust Fund (ETF) for Fiscal Year 2024 and Fiscal Year 2023 ETF Supplemental Appropriation bill on Wednesday. The Senate voted to approve both pieces of legislation on Thursday along with an amended version of Governor Kay Ivey’s proposed one-time rebates for qualified taxpayers.

Alabama Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) joined the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) this week as the guest speaker for the Government Affairs Briefing.

Sen. Scofield focused on the significance of the recently enacted economic incentive legislation and the Senate Republican Caucus’ prioritization of advancing pro-business, pro-growth policies. He detailed Alabama’s stable financial footprint and the unprecedented growth it has led to over the years, the consequence of handling the state’s budget surplus of nearly $2.7 billion, and the impact the legislature’s actions will have on the state’s fiscal position.

Sen. Scofield highlighted the critical need to save money in order to buffer the impacts of a potential downturn in the economy. The majority leader closed with his outlook for the remainder of the session and the issues the Senate Republican Caucus plans to confront.

The Tuesday morning briefings are streamed live on BCA’s Facebook page each week during the legislative session. Alabama House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) will join as our next guest speaker on Tuesday, May 9.

Legislative Interview

BCA was able to catch up with Minority Leader Anthony Daniels this week to get an update on his overtime tax elimination bill, HB 217. BCA is proud to support this tax cut for hard working Alabamians, and we thank Representative Daniels for his proactive efforts to grow our economy and support our workforce.

BCA Bills of Interest

Support

HB77
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville)
BCA Position: Support
Status: Passed in House; referred to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee 

Additional Information: Under current law, every business in Alabama that generates a monthly average of $5,000 or more in sales taxes must make estimated monthly tax payments the following year. This bill would raise that threshold to $20,000, which would reduce “red tape” for more than 3,000 small businesses in the state. 

HB217
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville)
BCA Position: Support
Status: Passed in House

Additional Information: This bill would remove the state income tax on overtime pay for Alabama workers. 

HB273
Sponsor: Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville)
BCA Position: Support
Status: Passed in House; referred to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

Additional Information: This bill would expand tax deduction for health insurance premiums paid for employees who report no more than $75,000 of adjusted gross income ($150,000 if filing jointly) on their individual tax returns and work for qualifying employer with fewer than 50 employees. It would allow qualifying employees and employers to deduct 100% of the amount paid for health insurance premiums in connection with an employer provided health insurance plan. Additionally, it would provide support to small businesses and facilitate their provision of health insurance.

HB293
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown (R-Mobile)
BCA Position: Support
Status: Pending action on House floor

Additional Information: This bill would revise the structure of the amounts of the credits that may be claimed and expand the credit to allow port users to claim a jobs tax credit if the user increases their cargo base volume.

HB378
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown (R-Mobile)
BCA Position: Support
Status: Introduced and referred to House Economic Development and Tourism Committee

Additional Information: This bill would provide for the creation of brownfield redevelopment districts to further provide for the remediation and ultimate reuse of brownfields.

Oppose

HB270
Sponsor: Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle)
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Carried over in House Committee on Ports, Waterways & Intermodal Transit

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit the establishment or expansion of junkyards in certain circumstances.

In Review

HB188
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown (R-Mobile)
BCA Position: In Review
Status: Introduced and referred to House State Government Committee

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria when awarding a public contract and would require a responsible bidder, as a condition of being awarded a public contract, to certify, under penalty of perjury, that its employees will not be subject to a personal ESG rating as a basis of hiring, firing, or evaluation.

SB261
Sponsor: Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook)
BCA Position: In Review
Status: Introduced and referred to Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility & Economic Development 

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit a governmental entity from entering a public contract with certain companies or businesses that engage in the economic boycott of businesses in certain sectors and industries; that fail to meet or commit to meet certain environmental standards; that fail to meet or commit to meet certain corporate governance criteria; or that fail to facilitate certain activities.

HB267/SB245
Sponsor: Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley)/Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville)
BCA Position: In Review
Status: Pending action on House floor; introduced and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee

Additional Information: This bill would revise the Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Law. Changes to nonprofit corporation laws, like those proposed in this bill, can impact various aspects of nonprofit organizations, including their formation, governance structure, board responsibilities, financial reporting requirements, and other operational procedures.

HB298
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Sells (R-Greenville)
Status: Pending action on House floor
BCA Position: In Review

Additional Information: This bill would require all smartphones and tablets sold in Alabama to have an adult content filter enabled upon purchase, with violations constituting a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for the device’s manufacturer.

HB389
Sponsor: Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville)
BCA Position: In Review
Status: Introduced and referred to House Ways and Means General Fund Committee

Additional Information: This bill would add a surcharge of 98 cents per month to all mobile communication in the state to fund the 988 Crisis System of Care.

Monitor

SB220/HB367
Sponsor: Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison); Rep. Phillip Rigsby (R-Huntsville)
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Amended and received favorable report in Senate State Government Committee; pending action in House Insurance Committee

Additional Information: This bill would allow a pharmacist to refuse service to a customer if the pharmacist believes the reimbursement they would receive for a drug is insufficient. It would also permit a pharmacist to recommend a customer switch to a different, more costly drug that the pharmacist would make more profit on — ultimately costing the health plan and customer more money. 

SB257
Sponsor: Sen. Andrew Jones (R-Centre)
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Introduced and referred to Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee

Additional Information: This bill would gradually cut the state’s 4% sales tax on most grocery items to 2%. The tax reduction would be paused if overall tax revenue growth in the Education Trust Fund fell below 2%.

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