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.
On January 11, the Alabama Legislature began the 2022 Legislative Session. While the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic remains, the Alabama Statehouse was open for business. There is a newly updated website as well, designed to be more user friendly for all. The January start marks the fourth year of the quadrennium, meaning it is an election year, and every member’s seat is up for election.
The Governor gave her State of the State address on Tuesday night, setting out her priorities for the state and the session. The Legislature is off to a slow start, with only two committee meetings this week. Legislators are setting deliberate priorities and want to focus on the distribution of the pandemic relief money first. There are strong rumors of an impending special session within the regular session, perhaps being called as early as next week. This would allow the prioritization of determining the distribution of the money before settling down to their regular business.
There were over 100 bills filed prior to the session, and many more this week, bringing the first week total to 100 bills filed in the Senate and 149 bills filed in the House of Representatives. Some of the legislation filed so far deals with voting and elections, guns, lotteries, campaign finance, vaccines and student athletes. There are also proposed changes to certain custody, family leave, child support and alimony laws.
There are numerous criminal bills, many in support of criminal justice reform, but also bills increasing and tightening penalties. We have also seen legislation addressing bail. Please see the tracking spreadsheet below for a complete list of all proposed legislation involving changes to criminal law.
Laws impacting tax credits (including the historic tax credit), economic incentives and other tax related legislation are included in the tax-oriented tracking.
The General Fund and Education budgets were introduced by their respective chairs in the House of Representatives upon receipt from the Governor, which begins the budget process.
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 2022 Legislative Session is proceeding as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, January 18, 2022.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, January 18, 2022.