The Alabama legislature is now down to nine meeting days with substantial legislation still to be addressed. Redistricting, prison construction, and passage of the budgets are hanging over the head of the legislature. Both Senate and House committees are scheduled to review the redistricting plans this week and the goal is to have the new district maps sent to the courts by May 25th for approval. Leadership has attempted to have all interested parties involved on the plans, but I would not be surprised if the plans cause a major slow down over the last nine days due to allegations of racial elements with the current districts.
The Education Trust Fund budget is scheduled for full debate by the House this week. The General Fund Budget is scheduled to be debated by Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee on Wednesday. If approved by the committee, the budget could be considered by the full Senate on Thursday. The education trust fund budget is the largest in history, and the general fund is in better shape than in recent years due to one-time revenue sources.
Prison construction legislation, SB302 by Senator Cam Ward, has stalled out since approval by the Senate on March 16th. The legislation has been assigned to the House Judicial Committee but has not been included on the agenda in over a month. Governor Ivey has come out in support of the prison legislation, but the momentum has stalled since Bentley’s resignation.
Bills of Interest to the Concrete Industry
Senate Bill 386 by Arthur Orr cleared the Government Affairs committee last week. SB 386 would allow for counties to raise fuel tax by $.05 if county residents approved the measure in a referendum. Counties around the state continue to struggle to meet funding requirements for road work, and the legislation if passed could help in their efforts.
House Bill 487 by Bill Poole, which would have raised gas taxes by up to $.09 has not seen movement since the bill was carried over to the call of the chair. While Speaker McCutcheon initially said the gas tax was dead, efforts are still being made to salvage the legislation. If they budgets could be approved in the near future, HB487 would not need a Budget Isolation Request. The lack of the BIR is what stopped the gas tax two weeks ago. We will keep you abreast of any movement of the gas tax legislation and encourage you to contact your representatives to urge their support of HB487.
The legislature is scheduled to reconvene Tuesday, May 2nd.
Should you have any questions, please contact our office at (334) 265-0501.