Week Four of the 2024 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing

BCA was honored to have House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter join our Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing to discuss the legislative priorities of his chamber. Speaker Ledbetter touched on the critical need to address challenges and issues surrounding workforce development and additional incentives being considered by lawmakers, including a childcare tax credit, to build upon the successes of ‘The Game Plan’ and enhance Alabama’s business climate and grow the state’s economy.

Week Four Legislative Recap

After more than four hours of deliberation on the House floor, the House passed HB129, the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Our Students’ Education (CHOOSE) Act. Sponsored by Representative Danny Garrett, this bill would allow eligible families to spend up to $7,000 per child in public funds per year at private schools. The bill will next be considered by the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee.

The Senate and House addressed separate proposals relating to in vitro fertilization (IVF). The bills – SB159 by Senator Tim Melson and HB237 by Representative Terri Collins – respond to the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that resulted in the halt of IVF services across the state. Additionally, Senator Larry Stutts’ SB160 received a favorable report in the Senate Healthcare Committee.

The Senate has not addressed the gaming proposal that was passed by the House two weeks ago but continues to discuss the topic and possible substitute proposals. The Senate Tourism and Economic Development Committee held a public hearing but did not move the House bills or any expected substitute bills. Legislative leaders say the Senate will continue to discuss the topic and determine if the necessary votes can be garnered to approve a gaming measure in the upper chamber.

A bill introduced this week by Representative Phillip Rigsby could increase costs on Alabama health insurance customers by $275 per person per year. HB238 would prevent pharmacy benefit managers from reimbursing pharmacies less than their actual acquisition cost and from receiving different payment amounts than what they pay pharmacies. The bill is pending action in the House Insurance Committee and a public hearing is expected to take place on Wednesday, March 6. BCA is opposed to this piece of legislation.

The legislature completed its 12th legislative day of the 2024 session and will convene on Tuesday March 5 for another three-day week. The House and Senate will observe two upcoming recess weeks: March 11-15 and March 25-29.

BCA Bills of Interest

HB6
Sponsor: Rep. Juandalynn Givan
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Pending action in House Commerce and Small Business Committee

Additional Information: This bill would mandate an employer to provide a location and reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk.

HB18
Sponsor: Rep. Juandalynn Givan
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Pending action in House Judiciary Committee

Additional Information: This bill would create a cause of action against an employer who discriminates against an applicant or employee based upon the applicant or employee’s weight or body size.

HB21
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Passed by House; Pending action in Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Additional Information: This bill would require genetic testing companies to obtain express consent from consumers to retain, use, and share consumers’ genetic information with other entities. This bill would also create a civil penalty for use and disclosure by testing companies of consumer genetic information without consent and provide for enforcement by the Attorney General.

HB73
Sponsor: Rep. Phillip Pettus
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in House Ways and Means General Fund Committee

Additional Information: This bill would provide for a cap on real property tax assessments under certain conditions.

HB92
Sponsor: Rep. Troy Stubbs
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in House Judiciary Committee

Additional Information: This bill would provide for further filing requirements in civil actions relating to asbestos exposure claims.

HB118
Sponsor: Rep. Ben Robbins
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in House Ways and Means Education Committee

Additional Information: This bill would establish an income tax credit to recruited or remote workers.

HB202
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in House State Government Committee

Additional Information: This bill would create a protected class of workers and independent contractors who have a private right of action if they are assaulted at their workplace while performing, directly or indirectly, their official job duties.

HB228/SB112
Sponsor: Rep. Tim Wadsworth/Sen. Sam Givhan
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in House Judiciary Committee/pending action in Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee

Additional Information: This bill would modify the Alabama Business and Nonprofit Entities Code.

HB238
Sponsor: Rep. Phillip Rigsby
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Pending action in House Insurance Committee

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit pharmacy benefit managers from reimbursing a pharmacy less than the actual acquisition cost paid by the pharmacy or from contracting with a health insurer to receive payment amounts for prescription drug benefits that are different from the amounts the pharmacy benefit managers pay pharmacies. This would cost insurance customers in Alabama $275 per person per year.

SB45/HB14
Sponsor: Sen. David Sessions/Rep. Craig Lipscomb
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Pending action in Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee/Pending action in House State Government Committee

Additional Information: This bill would require regulations by the State Health Officer relating to fish consumption advisories and require the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to test fish for pollutants and post signage at relevant boat ramps notifying of active fish consumption advisories.

SB50
Sponsor: Sen. Gerald Allen
BCA Position: Support
Status: Passed Senate; pending action in House Commerce and Small Business Committee

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit a governmental entity from restricting a person or other entity from acquiring or using an appliance based solely on the type of energy or energy generation used to operate the appliance.

SB53/HB102
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr/Rep. Susan DuBose
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Passed Senate; Pending action in House Committee on Children and Senior Advocacy

Additional Information: This bill would eliminate the eligibility to work form for persons of 14 and 15 years of age.

SB58
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

Additional Information: This bill would make it a crime, with exceptions including criminal investigation and certain legal proceedings, to collect, analyze, or transfer an individual’s DNA without the individual’s express consent. The bill would require notice to an individual of results of a genetic test undergone by the individual when applying for employment, a loan, credit, an educational opportunity, and certain types of insurance.
This bill would also prohibit health, life, and long-term care insurers from using the results of an individual’s DNA analysis to make coverage and premium decisions and authorize the Commissioner of Insurance to enforce the prohibition.

SB60
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee

Additional Information: This bill would transfer $5 million from the Rebuild Alabama fund to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to create an inland port and intermodal fund.

SB119
Sponsor: Sen. Robert Stewart
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Pending action in Senate Judiciary Committee

Additional Information: This bill would increase civil and criminal penalties for an employer who violates child labor laws.

SB172
Sponsor: Sen. Rodger Smitherman
BCA Position: Oppose
Status: Pending action in Senate Judiciary Committee

Additional Information: This bill would create a cause of action against an employer for discrimination based on hairstyle.

Week Ten of the 2024 Legislative Session

Capitol Briefing Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing BCA hosted Senator Greg Albritton, the Senate General Fund Budget Committee chairman, this week to provide an overview of Alabama’s fiscal position and offer

Read More