The 2022 Regular Session has reached the halfway mark with 15 of the 30 days allotted by the Alabama Constitution now in the books. It was another busy week, packed with committee hearings and three days of session. Legislators began the week with a late night of lengthy debates and filibusters and ended the week getting to the business of the budgets. As of Thursday, Feb. 24, there have been 264 bills introduced in the Senate and 415 bills introduced in the House of Representatives.
The introduction of bills has slowed, but this week, some bills of interest to lawyers include:
- changes to the notary laws;
- the allowance of certain legal fees in commitment proceedings;
- the expansion of will contest jurisdiction in certain instances;
- the allowance of virtual notices for certain required legal notices;
- the decriminalization of marijuana in certain instances; and
- a bill for the Secretary of State to review all boards, commissions and task forces to evaluate if they are active, working and remain necessary.
Local bills continue to be introduced as well. The Judiciary committees were also busy this week debating legislation involving additional judgeships, custody, community corrections programs, an elder abuse registry, wiretapping and further provisions for virtual hearings in criminal cases.
Additionally, the General Fund budget was in committee Wednesday and was passed by the Senate Thursday. It includes a pay raise for state employees. The General Fund budget includes the courts and everything not related to education in the State.
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 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 regular session of the 2022 Legislative Session is proceeding as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at 2:30 p.m.
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.
Two New Lawyer Legislators in the Statehouse
Tuscaloosa attorney and business owner Cynthia Almond represents Alabama House District 63, the seat formerly held by Bill Poole, who vacated the seat Aug. 1 to become Alabama’s next finance director. Rep. Almond is the first woman to represent Tuscaloosa County in the Alabama Legislature and is a former City Councilwoman.
Montgomery attorney Patrice “Penni” McClammy was sworn in last November as the new representative of Alabama House District 76, covering parts of central and south Montgomery. Rep. McClammy replaces her late father Thad McClammy, who held the position for decades.