Week Three of the 2024 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

Pro Tem Greg Reed Talks Future of Alabama's Workforce at BCA

This week, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed joined BCA’s Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing to discuss the legislature’s vision to enhance the future of Alabama’s workforce.

Senator Reed highlighted Alabama’s economic standing and the immediate effects seen by ‘The Game Plan’ economic incentives after less than one year’s implementation.

He detailed a comprehensive workforce package, supported by BCA, that several leaders and elected officials are collaborating on to help address Alabama’s historic low labor force participation rate and tackle additional challenges faced by the workforce. Senator Reed also provided an update on other items being discussed in the Senate including gaming and school choice proposals.

 

Week Three Legislative Recap

A few BCA bills of interest were prevented from advancing out of their respective committees – SB45 and HB14, relating to fish consumption, and SB58 relating to DNA transfers – were all carried over during their committee hearings this week. BCA is monitoring each of these bills and the impact they may have on our members and the business community.

Last week, the House approved legislation to allow gaming in Alabama, and the bill was sent to the Senate for consideration by the body. The Senate did not vote on the bills this week and instead spent time discussing and gauging support for the comprehensive proposal. The two bills passed by the House would authorize a lottery, casinos with table games and slot machines, and sports betting. If passed by the Senate, the constitutional amendment would appear on the ballot to be considered by Alabama voters this fall.

The House Ways and Means Education Committee held a public hearing on HB129, the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Our Students’ Education (CHOOSE) Act of 2024. Sponsored by Representative Danny Garrett, this bill would allow families to spend up to $7,000 per child in public funds per year at private schools through a new state fund that would be allocated at least $100 million annually by lawmakers. The bill received a favorable report by the House Committee and moves to the House floor for consideration by the full body.

The Senate approved SB129, a measure to limit diversity, equity and inclusion programs at state agencies and public schools and colleges and prevent ‘divisive concepts’ in classrooms. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

 

 

 

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 create a state law requiring 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.

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.

HB102
Sponsor: Rep. Susan DuBose
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: 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.

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.

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: Received a favorable report in Senate Transportation and Energy 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.

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: Oppose
Status: Pending action in Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee

Additional Information: This bill would transfer at least $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.

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Week Five of the 2024 Legislative Session

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