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Legislative Update - Week 9

Bills Waiting for the Governor's Signature:

SB159 (Sen. Shelnutt/Rep. Butler)

The bill grants all professional educators’ associations same level of access to employees of public schools. This bill received final passage in the House and has been transmitted to the Governor for her signature.

SB22 (Sen. Brewbaker)

Would add the requirement to post personnel vacancies to the local board’s website and change the time it must be posted before the position is filled from 14 days to 7 days. The bill received concurrence from the House and now goes to the Governor for her signature.

HB228 (Rep. Standridge) “In God We Trust” Motto 

Permits state agencies the use of the national motto “In God We Trust” in and on public buildings and vehicles. The bill has been sent to the Governor for her signature.

Action in the House:

HB366 (Rep. Knight) Cyberbullying 

This bill would expand current law to include student- against student harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence off school property. It specifically included cyberbullying in the definition of harassment. Names the statute Jamari Terrell Williams Act. The bill passed the House as amended. Now goes to a Senate committee.

Action in the Senate:

HB251 (Rep. K. Johnson)  529 Savings Accounts

The bill was on the special order calendar on Tuesday. After a filibuster the bill was carried over to the call of the chair, meaning the bill has been postponed.

SB153 (Sen. Melson) County Superintendents

The bill removes the prohibition against county superintendents of education having additional employment and remove the limit of $600 on annual travel expenses for certain county superintendents of education. This bill did not include the amendment added on the House floor that any activity that is not school business to be approved by the local board.  The bill now moves the House Education Policy Committee.

SB280 (Sen. Brewbaker) Superintendents All Appointed

Current law states a county superintendent of education may be elected if authorized under a local law or amendment to the Constitution of Alabama. These bills would require all county superintendents to be appointed by the county board of education, and provides transition to appointed office. The bill has been assigned to the House Education Policy Committee.

Bills in Committee:

SB189 (Sen. Brewbaker) 529 Saving Accounts

The bills purpose caused confusion among the committee members on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it was not enough to stop the bill from getting a favorable report. The final vote for a favorable report was 6-5. The bill moves to the House floor for consideration. CLAS continues to oppose this legislation.

SB148 (Sen. Cam Ward)  Juvenile Justice

The Senate Judiciary committee carried over SB148. Wednesday, interest groups were in the process of making changes to the bill. Senator Ward made it clear he wants this bill to go through a deliberate process and not push something through that would take years to clean up. Expect SB148 to be back on the Senate Judiciary committee agenda next week.

HB225 (Rep. Hill)  Juvenile Justice

Provisions relating to the juvenile justice system substantially revised, adoption of policies for absenteeism and school misconduct required, and creates the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Fund. The House Judiciary gave the bill a favorable report with 1 substitute and 3 amendments, now moves to the House floor.

HB174 (Rep. Poole) Education Employee Pay Raise

Received a favorable report from Senate F&TE committee. Now the bill goes to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB176, HB177, HB178 (Rep. Poole)

Appropriations for Lyman Ward Military Academy,  Talladega College, and Tuskegee University received favorable reports from Senate F&TE committee, now moves to the Senate floor.

HB179 (Rep. Poole) Education Advancement and Technology Fund Supplemental Appropriation

The bill received a favorable report from Senate F&TE committee and moves to the Senate floor.

HB180 (Rep. Poole) Supplemental Appropriation for FY19 from ETF

The bill received a favorable report and moves to the Senate floor.

SB323 (Sen. Pittman) 

This bill would amend the Education Trust Fund Rolling Reserve Act to allow funds in the Education Trust Fund Budget Stabilization Fund to be used for school security, in addition to those already identified in the law. CLAS supports this bill because it allows local school systems to use any unappropriated revenue in this fund as a block grant for school security and all other expenditures already identified in the law. The bill received a favorable report and now goes to the Senate floor.

SB318 (Sen. Orr) Data Breach Notification

This bill creates the Data Breach Notification Act to require certain entities to provide notice to certain persons upon a breach of security that results in unauthorized acquisition of sensitive personally identifying information. The bill has already passed the Senate. Thursday the bill received a favorable report with 1 amendment from the House Technology and Research committee. The bill now moves to the House floor.

SB181 (Sen. Dial)

A constitutional amendment which would provide that property belonging to the state may be used the display the Ten Commandments and can be displayed on public school property. The House State Government committee gave the bill a favorable report, and now goes to House floor.

SB292 (Sen. Hightower)  Combine ETF and General Fund Budget

A public hearing was held on Thursday. The Finance & Taxation Education Committee voted to indefinitely postpone this bill that would combine the ETF and General Budgets. The bill is dead for this session.

Bills Introduced:

HB490 (Rep. Rowe)

Under existing law, public education personnel are exempt from licensure and permitting by the Alabama Licensure Board for Interpreters and Transliterators for providing interpreting or transliteration services to students in emergency or incidental situations.This bill would also exempt certain members of the public who, with prior written approval of the local board of education, provide interpreting or transliteration services to public school students in emergency or incidental situations.

HB498 (Rep. Baker) Additional Retirement Option

Relating to the retirement of members of the Teachers' Retirement System and the Employees' Retirement System who elect to receive a reduced retirement allowance; to provide an additional option of electing to receive a partial lump-sum distribution as a single payment, under certain conditions

 

NEXT WEEK

BUDGETS!!!

 

The ETF Budget will be in the Senate F&TE committee Tuesday at 1:00. The plan is to vote the ETF budget out of committee on Tuesday, and have it on the Senate floor Thursday. 

 

On Tuesday, the House will work two special order calendars. One calendar for bills related to the general fund budget and the second calenar for other bills. Bills tracked by CLAS will be on the second special order calendar:

  • HB447 (Rep. Collins)  School Safety and Security Taskforce

    Creates the Alabama Taskforce on School Safety and Security, requires the task force to annually study the education and safety laws, rules, and policies of the state, and make legislative recommendations to the Legislature when necessary. An amendment was placed on the bill in committee to add a principal to the taskforce.

     

  • HB236 (Rep. Pettus)  SRO Qualifications

    Under existing law, a local board of education may contract with a local chief of police or sheriff to employ school resource officers. This bill would authorize a local board of education to also employ as a school resource officer a person who retired in good standing from a federal or state agency with at least 25 total years of law enforcement experience.

     

No bills tracked by CLAS are posted on next week's committee meeting agenda.

No one is certain about the number of days remaining in the 2018 Legislative Session, but with the General Fund budget in the House and ETF budget in the Senate next week, the days are very few.

Convene Report - The House will convene Tuesday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. and the Senate at 3:00 p.m. the same day.