After a busy three-day week, the Alabama Legislature has completed 23 of its 30 legislative days. Committee meetings were spread over all three days, with much debate happening during session days. As of this week, there have been 342 bills introduced in the Senate and 502 bills introduced in the House of Representatives.
The introduction of new bills continues to slow, and the bulk of them are local bills. Bills introduced this week include one that would create the Judicial Privacy Act and another that would create a bail reform act. We also saw new bills that makes changes to subrogation in workers comp cases and changes to notary laws. There was also legislation introduced to increase court costs in Marshall, Lamar, and Cullman counties (SB 327, HB 474, and HB 481). These new bills are in addition to the local bills in Shelby, Pickens, Limestone, and Blount counties to increase court costs.
Bills moving in committee this week made changes to vessel laws, Class D felony sentencing, and the non-profit code. There was also a bill that requires municipal courts to make certain criminal information available statewide, as well as one that makes changes to vaping restrictions. The bill providing for local 988 centers also passed out of committee in the Senate.
Receiving final passage or passage in one chamber this week included the interim judge bill, which would provide for retired judges to be appointed in areas of certified need; a bill creating tax exemptions for retirement income; legislation that revises penalties for organized retail theft; and a bill relating to the definition and punishment for prison contraband.
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: civil/general, court costs, criminal, domestic relations, elections ethics and government relations (EEGR), judicial, and tax.
The regular session of the 2023 Legislative Session continues as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, May 23 at 12:00 p.m
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m.