Legislative Update – Week 10

Another busy week at the Alabama Legislature!  Click here for a report from the Southeast Law Institute’s Eric Johnston, ALCAP’s legal advisor, concerning HB277 (the daycare licensing bill) and HB440 (the Youth Residential Prevention Act).

In addition to these bills, HB354 (the Daily Fantasy Sports gambling legalization bill), which passed out of the House of Representatives last week by a narrow margin of only 5 votes, was in the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee on Wednesday of this week.  The chairman, Sen. Del Marsh, allowed for a public hearing on the bill and ALCAP was able to address our concerns with this pro-gambling bill.  A lawyer representing the largest Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) companies, FanDuel and DraftKings, tried to counter ALCAP’s comments, but fell short and actually reinforced the facts presented by ALCAP.  The chairman agreed to postpone a vote of the committee until next week.  Please contact members of the Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee before Wednesday, May 3, and ask them to vote NOT to give the bill a favorable report.  Then call your State Senator and ask him or her to oppose HB354 (the Daily Fantasy Sports bill) if it comes to the full Senate for a vote.

The House, on Tuesday, passed HB353 (the “Sunday Brunch Bill”).  This bill will allow any county or municipality that currently has Sunday alcohol sales to begin selling alcohol at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings instead of noon or 1:00 p.m. (as some local ordinances currently allow).  One problem with this bill is that, while some counties and municipalities were able to get Sunday alcohol sales with a simple vote of the local governing authorities, many required a vote of the people.  Some of the counties and municipalities that had a vote of the people did so in the form of a constitutional amendment.  If your area passed Sunday alcohol sales by a constitutional amendment, HB353 does not apply to you because a statute cannot override a constitutional amendment.  But, some counties and municipalities passed Sunday alcohol sales by a referendum (not a constitutional amendment).  These counties and municipalities could have been impacted by this bill because it would allow their local governing bodies to override the vote of the people.  However, Rep. Steve Clouse managed to get an amendment to the bill that would prevent county and municipality officials from moving the start time to 10:30 a.m. if their local ordinance had been passed by a referendum of the people.

This bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.  Please contact your State Senator and ask him or her to oppose HB353.

HB24 (the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, sponsored by Rep. Rich Wingo) protects child-placing organizations that have certain religious requirements from having to place children with couples that do not meet their agency’s criteria.  This bill passed the House and Senate, and has now gone to Governor Ivey’s office for her signature.  Governor Ivey has requested an executive amendment be added that we are currently studying.  As soon as we know whether or not this amendment is acceptable, we will let you know the bill’s status and if there is action you may need to take.

Continue to pray for the Alabama Legislature and Governor Ivey. There are only nine days left in the 2017 Legislative Session and the expected final day of the Session will be May 18.

We believe it is possible to change a self-destructive youth culture, but we need you.

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