2023 Legislative Session: May 9-11
Published on May 15, 2023
The Alabama Legislature has now completed 20 of the 30 allotted session days. It was a two-day session week, and Wednesday was full of committee meetings. As of this week, 469 bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives, and 321 bills have been introduced in the Senate.
The introduction of new bills continues to slow, but new legislation this week included a bill that eliminates certain fees in juvenile cases, one that makes changes to vaping laws, and another that changes the term on deferred presentment transactions. We also saw a bill that further criminalizes abortion.
There is a new court cost bill, House Bill 444, which creates a $50 service of process fee for civil cases in Shelby County, with funds going to the Sheriff’s office. Additionally, there is a bill to increase the fees in the pre-trial diversion programs in Pike and Coffee counties that will benefit the District Attorney’s office.
In committee this week, there were several bills of interest including one that prevents employers from microchipping employees, one that expands child and sexual abuse statutes, and another relating to electronic stalking. There were also numerous bills in committees relating to educational issues as well as legislation that provides additional resources for local mental health centers and 988 centers.
Legislation giving judges more discretion with Class D felonies passed out of the Senate in addition to the legislation creating 13 new judgeships. Senate Bill 39 would create seven new judgeships for the 2024 election cycle in the 11th (Lauderdale), 19th (Autauga, Chilton, Elmore), 23rd (Madison), and 28th (Baldwin) Circuits as well as district judgeships in Baldwin, DeKalb, and Mobile counties. In the 2026 election cycle, there would be six new judgeships in the 6th (Tuscaloosa), 19th (Autauga, Chilton, Elmore), 28th (Baldwin), and 37th (Lee) Circuits as well as additional district judgeships in Madison and Shelby counties. This bill (SB39) passed out of the Senate 33-0 and is now headed to the House of Representatives.
There are local bills in Shelby, Pickens, Limestone and Blount County to increase court costs.
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.
You can find our comprehensive updated bill-tracking spreadsheet here.
The regular session of the 2023 Legislative Session continues as follows:
- The Senate has adjourned until Tuesday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m
- The House has adjourned until Tuesday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m.