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Legislative Update - Week 4

Eight days of the legislative session are now behind us. This week progressed normally with no major drama.

On Tuesday, CLAS hosted its first Legislative Hill Day with 5 members participating. Participants were able to listen to and speak with Senator Gerald Dial at the CLAS office. Legislative issues, the importance of developing relationships with legislators, and ways to become involved in the legislative process were topics discussed. Participants visited the State House, met with their legislators, and were recognized in both the House and Senate chambers. It was a successful and informative day. The next Legislative Hill Day is February 27, 2018. If you are interested in joining in, please contact susie@clasleaders.org.

Bills Introduced:

HB356 (Boyd)  – Allows the administration of autoinjectable epinephrine on K-12 school campuses by students. 

HB366 (Knight)  – Expands student harassment prevention act to include student against student harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence off school property.

SB269 (Whatley)  – Revises the content and course materials for public K-12 sex education.

Bills In Committee:

There were many education-related bills in committee again this Wednesday.

A surprise came in the Senate Education & Youth Affairs committee meeting. Both bills by Senator Albritton - SB24 (proposal to make the State Board of Education and State Superintendent of Education appointed positions by the governor) and SB25 (proposal to change the State Board of Education from elected to appointed seats as well as change the members of the Board) - received support from the committee. Although both bills were carried over until next week’s meeting to flush out some details, committee members seem to agree the state department of education and state board of education need systemic change, regardless of the ongoing superintendent search. We will continue to monitor both bills as they move through the legislative process. Here are the other bills that received favorable reports from committee:

  • SB26 (Chambliss) – Juvenile Sex Offenders notification expanded to superintendent and board of education.
  • SB189 (Brewbaker) – Wallace Folsom Saving Investment Plan. State Treasurer, Young Boozer, said this bill would allow Alabama to comply with the Federal Law, allowing 529 savings accounts to be used for K-12 expenses.
  • SB202 (Bussman) – Current law provides for state funding to offset depreciation of school buses used by public schools and the State Board of Education has set a 10-year limit on depreciation funding. This bill would establish a 12-year or 200,000-mile depreciation schedule for funding for the depreciation in value for school buses. One amendment was approved to make the minimum funding no less than FY19 levels.

The Senate Finance &Taxation Education committee gave favorable reports to both bills CLAS is tracking:

  • SB163 (Orr) – Makes a supplemental appropriation from the ETF to the Department of Veterans Affairs in amount of $4,294,859 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018; and to make a supplemental appropriation from the ETF to the State Department of Education for the Alabama School of Cyber and Engineering in the amount of $500,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018.
  • SB212 (Orr) – Establishing Alabama Cyber Engineering School, board of directors, programs, and eligibility requirements, with conditional appropriation from ETF $1.5mil. (Committee members asked for more clarity on the plans and vision for the school.)

HB1 (Hanes) – DROP BILL was carried over because Hanes brought a substitute to the bill. Committee rules state if a substitute is not received in 24 hours of the committee meeting the bill is carried over for one week. The bill will be back in committee next week for a vote. The substitute changed the name to EIRP (Education Investment Retirement Plan) and the effective date to January 2019.

The House Education Policy committee quickly gave the following two bills favorable reports.

  • SB14 (Dial) – Increases the time for public K-12 teachers to give notice of terminating employment from 5 to 30 days.
  • SB28 (Pittman) – Repeals a criminal statute that provides conflicting procedures found in the Students First Act. If passed, would allow local school boards to start due process procedures without waiting for criminal proceedings to be complete. received favorable reports.

Next Week:

The Education Trust Fund budget will be in House Ways and Means Education Committee. Tuesday there will be a public hearing on the budget, and on Wednesday further discussion and a vote.

Other committee meetings were not posted at the time this update was written.


Convene Report
 - The House will convene Tuesday, February 6 at 1:30 p.m. and the Senate at 2:00 p.m. the same day.

To join the CLN contact the CLAS Communication Coordinator Susie Ellison via email susie@clasleaders.org or call (800) 239-3616.