The Alabama State Bar provides legislative status reports concerning pending legislation that may be of interest to our members, with direct links to the actual legislation. The reports divide legislation into the following categories for your convenience: criminal, domestic relations, judicial, court costs, elections ethics and government relations (EEGR), civil/ general and tax.
Week five of the 2021 Legislative Session brought the first two-day session week, which should have signaled a settling in to the usual course of business, but a full day of committee meetings on Wednesday made it clear they are not slowing down. As the half way mark nears, all the moving parts are still moving at a brisk pace. There were more than 70 new bills introduced just this week bringing the total number of bills introduced in the House of Representatives to 541 and 335 bills introduced in the Senate.
Included among the new bills introduced this week were more changes to the DUI and interlock laws, changes to the real estate licensure commission and their processes, several new economic development bills and at least 6 new bills dealing with lotteries. There was also legislation addressing the need for additional judgeships.
Of interest to those who follow legislation involving Elections, Ethics and Governmental Relations, there have been more than 54 bills introduced that would fall into that category. These bills deal with everything from voting issues, campaign finance issues, timing of elections and ethics issues.
Additionally this session, there have been more than 10 bills filed involving the Judiciary. Among these, there is legislation proposing changes to how the caseloads of judges are counted and assessed when considering the need for additional judges or the reallocation of current judgeships. There is also legislation proposing the addition of several new judgeships in areas of need around the state and the dissolving of some judgeships.
Some bills of interest in committee this week included workplace discrimination and increasing the discretion of judges on split sentences in criminal cases. The general fund budget was passed out of the House of Representatives this week and is headed to the Senate.
As always, the Alabama State Bar encourages all members to be aware of legislation that may impact court costs and fees. Access to justice is a priority. Please be aware of advertisements that may be occurring for local bills and those that may already be filed to use the courts as a fundraiser for non-court entities. We encourage you to be informed and notify us as well.
The regular session of the 2021 Legislative Session is proceeding as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 1:00 pm.