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 six marked the halfway point of the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 session, completing 16 of the constitutionally allowed 30 days of session. It was another two-day session week, with committees meeting on Wednesday. Inclement weather caused the postponement of some afternoon committees on Wednesday but they were back at work on Thursday with full special order calendars. The introduction of new bills appeared to slow this week, but that could be due to the upcoming break. Next week, the Legislature will be taking spring break and returning on March 30 to complete the session. As of yesterday, 563 bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives and 351 bills introduced in the Senate.
Some of the new bills introduced this week involve reforms to the bail industry, changes to family leave laws and more economic development and innovation legislation. There were also many local bills introduced this week, one of which created a new court cost in Geneva County for service of process.
Last week we referenced the more than 50 bills introduced related to Elections, Ethics and Governmental Relations, as well as the bills relating to the Judiciary, that can be found in the bar’s tracking. One of the bills proposing additional judgeships was passed out of committee this week. Additionally, the bar is tracking more than 86 bills related to criminal laws or proposed changes to criminal laws.
Some bills of interest in the Senate Judiciary committee this week included legislation allowing for the resentencing of certain individuals convicted of non violent crimes, and several bills involving bail issues. Senate Judiciary also passed the Court Cost Commission bill, which would create a commission to review court costs and assess their relationship to the court system and make recommendations to the legislature.
Another bill of note receiving passage this week was the Education budget moving out of the Senate and to the House of Representatives. At this point, both budgets have passed out of one chamber and are halfway to final passage. Several Alabama Law Institute bills received passage this week, including an update to corporations law, trusts and non-disparagement agreements. Another Alabama Law Institute bill involving notice and the decanting of trusts received final passage and has been sent to the Governor for signature.
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 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.