Week twelve of the 2023 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

The legislature convened on Wednesday for a two-day work week, completing the 28th and 29th legislative days.

Several BCA bills of interest were given final passage in the Senate including HB77, Rep. Danny Garrett’s red tape reduction bill; HB217, Rep. Anthony Daniels’ overtime pay bill; and HB293, Rep. Chip Brown’s ports of Alabama incentives bill.

HB217 was amended on the Senate floor to include a $25 million cap on the exemption. The House concurred on the amended legislation, which is now before Governor Kay Ivey for her signature.

The Senate also approved House-passed legislation to cut Alabama’s four percent tax on groceries. Rep. Danny Garrett’s HB479 begins reducing the state sales and use tax on food on September 1, 2023. Future rate reductions would be contingent upon certain growth requirements in the ETF. The bill now goes to Governor Ivey.

The House gave final passage to two bills of note, SB261 and SB292, both sponsored by Sen. Dan Roberts. The bills will now be delivered to the Governor.

The anti-environmental, social, and governance (ESG) bill, SB261, prohibits governmental entities from entering certain contracts with companies that boycott businesses because the business engages in certain sectors or does not meet certain environmental or corporate governance standards or does not facilitate certain activities. A substitute to the bill was approved by the Senate in May and passed by the House on Wednesday.

SB292, which was also passed by the House on Wednesday, cuts red tape for nonprofits, charities, and other tax-exempt entities by streamlining the process for contractors to purchase supplies and materials to be used on construction projects for those entities.

The Senate did not take any action on HB298 by Rep. Chris Sells, which would require all smartphones and tablets sold in Alabama to have an adult content filter enabled upon purchase. Violations would constitute a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for the device’s manufacturer.

On Thursday, Governor Ivey signed historic state budgets – the $8.8 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) and $3 billion General Fund. She also signed supplemental appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023 budgets. The ETF includes significant investments in Alabama’s students, teachers, and schools by providing resources to recruit and retain quality educators and supporting the implementation of the Literacy and Numeracy Acts. The General Fund Budget will have a strong impact on our state, increasing funds to public services and providing for salary raises from State Troopers to Mental Health professionals.

The Governor also signed HB378 – the Brownfield redevelopment bill. Alabama’s success in attracting new businesses has led to a shortage of suitable sites. This allows for the creation of Brownfield redevelopment districts to produce more industry-ready sites across the state.

The House and Senate will return on Tuesday for the 30th and final legislative day of the session.

BCA Government Affairs Issues Briefings have officially concluded. Thank you to all who attended the issues briefings this session. We look forward to next year and hope to see all of you in the first floor auditorium during the 2024 legislative session. To watch our issues briefings from the 2023 legislative session, click here.

Legislative Interview

A pro-jobs legislator since 2014, Rep. Kyle South (R-Tuscaloosa) recently announced his departure from the Alabama legislature to serve the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce as the organization’s new president and CEO. The West Alabama Chamber is a valued partner in our efforts to grow Alabama’s economy and protect our businesses. BCA looks forward to working with Rep. South as he continues to diligently serve his community in this new role.

BCA Bills of Interest

Support

HB77 Red Tape Reduction Act
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett
BCA Position: Support
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

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

HB217 Overtime Pay
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels
BCA Position: Support
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

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

SB292
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Roberts
BCA Position: Support
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill cuts red tape for nonprofits, charities, and other tax-exempt entities by streamlining the process for contractors to purchase supplies and materials to be used on construction projects for those entities. It does not create any new tax exemptions; it simply expands the current process already utilized by government entities and their contractors.

HB293 Ports of Alabama Incentives
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown
BCA Position: Support
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

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

In Review

HB298 Adult Content Filter
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Sells
BCA Position: In Review
Status: Passed in House; pending action on Senate floor

Additional Information: This bill requires 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.

Monitor

SB261 Anti-ESG
Sponsor: Sen. Dan Roberts
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill prohibits 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 Nonprofit Laws Revision
Sponsor: Rep. Tim Wadsworth/Sen. Sam Givhan
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill revises 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.

SB299/HB443 Sunset on Incentives
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr/Rep. Danny Garrett
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Passed in Senate; pending action on House floor

Additional Information: This bill establishes sunset dates for tax incentive programs, establishes future sunset dates for extended tax incentive programs, and provides required guidelines for all new incentive legislation.

HB479/SB257 State Grocery Tax Repeal
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett/ Sen. Andrew Jones
BCA Position: Monitor
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill gradually cuts 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 3.5%.

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