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.
The 2021 Legislative Session may be starting to wind down, but the work has been ramping up. It was a very busy week, as days 27 and 28 are now in the books. There are three days left in the session this year: a two-day week is planned for next week followed by a ten-day break. Lawmakers will then return on Monday, May 17, to complete the final legislative day. At this time, there have been 648 bills introduced in the House of Representatives and 405 bills introduced in the Senate.
Some bills debated in committee this week included civil asset forfeiture passing out of State Government, as well as legislation involving custody and the rights of pregnant women, which was debated in House Judiciary. Legislation changing the Governor’s authority during emergencies also passed out of committee in the House. In Senate committees, legislation to create several new judgeships in the state, as well as the general fund budget, were debated.
There were extended calendars in the House and Senate this week. The House of Representatives moved through a more than twenty-bill, ten-minute calendar on Tuesday, followed by another lengthy calendar on Thursday. The Senate also had larger calendars this week, concurring on the Education Budget, which has now been sent to the Governor, as well as passing the General Fund budget on Thursday, which is headed to conference. The Alabama State Bar monitors and supports court funding, and the legislature’s continued support of the trial courts is greatly appreciated.
The long-awaited legislation codifying the review and restructure of judicial compensation, as recommended by the Judicial Compensation Commission, received final passage in the House of Representatives this week with a vote of 95-4. After an amendment merging it with originally separate legislation restructuring District Attorney and the Attorney General’s compensation, it is headed back to the Senate for a hopeful concurrence. This is the first legislation addressing judicial compensation in twenty years, and helps raise our judicial compensation in Alabama from being some of the lowest in the country. We greatly appreciate the legislature’s support of our judges.
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, May 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm.