House Ways & Means Education Committee meeting was held on Wednesday. Two major TRS retirement benefit bills were on the agenda. HB77 “Teacher Recruitment & Retention Act and HB21 “PLOP”. We (AEA, SSA, AASB, and CLAS) knew ahead of time that HB77, Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act, was only a presentation and discussion of the bill, no vote was taken. The bill sponsor for both bills, Rep. Baker, laid a good foundation to advance HB77 in the future. Education association representatives, including CLAS Executive Director, Dr. Wilson, testified before the committee. Each person cited facts about the current Tier 2 benefit, Alabama’s teacher shortage, and increased teacher absentee rates. Rep. Poole, committee chairman, requested more data be gathered before the committee meeting next Wednesday, so the committee could make a well-informed decision about the bill.
In the meantime, CLAS wants you to contact YOUR House member and tell them why they should support HB77. The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Act is one piece that will help the education profession with the teacher shortage. Here is a talking point sheet and click here to find your representative.
Bills Passed in the House
- HB21 by Rep. Baker – PLOP – Partial lump sum option plan, provides an additional option at retirement; allows a member to take up to 2 years of his or her benefit as a one-time partial lump sum distribution in exchange for a reduced lifetime monthly distribution. The bill now goes to the Senate.
- HB41 by Rep. Stringer – Teen Vaping Bill – Prohibits alternative nicotine product retailers and manufacturers from advertising alternative nicotine products around schools and churches. The bill passed as substituted and amended with a vote of 101-0. Rep. Stringer is a freshman legislator, and this was his first bill passed out of the House. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Bills Passed in the Senate
- SB5 –The bill adds meaning of certified athlete agent as someone who is certified to be an athlete agent in a particular sport by a national association that promotes or regulates intercollegiate athletics and establishes eligibility standards for participation by a student athlete in that sport.Allows certified athlete agent to pay expenses incurred before the signing of an agency contract by a student athlete, a family member of the student athlete, and an individual of a class of individuals authorized to receive the expenses by the national association that certified the agent if the expenses are: for the benefit of an athlete who is a member of a team authorized to receive a benefit by the national association; of a type authorized to be paid by a certified agent by the national association; for a purpose authorized by the national association that certified the agent.
- SB14 by Sen. Melson - Bible as Elective - that allows bible to be offered an elective in grades 6-12 was amended in committee. Amendments add that no teacher is required to teach, and no local board of education would incur liability due to provisions in the bill. The bill was amended on the floor before final passage. The amendment will include “and religious histories” after the word bible throughout the bill.
- SB15 by Sen. Whatley – Kyle Graddy Act - would name the self-administration law and the anaphylaxis preparedness program law together as the Kyle Graddy Act. This bill would specifically allow the possession and self-administration of single dose auto injectable epinephrine by a school student, also provide further for the definition of single dose auto injectable epinephrine. The bill now goes to House and is assigned to House Health Committee.
- SB222 by Sen. Butler - Appointed County Superintendent – This bill would require all county superintendents to be appointed by the county board of education, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.A county board of education may continue the services of an elected superintendent of education as an appointed superintendent of education for an additional term without following the posting and selecting procedures required under Section 16-9-11, Code of Alabama 1975, by appointing and extending the contract between the board and the superintendent. The contract may be executed at any time during the term of office of the elected county superintendent of education. On or before September 1, 2019, for elected county superintendents of education whose terms end in 2020, or September 1, 2021, for elected county superintendents of education whose terms end in 2022, the county board of education shall notify the elected superintendent of whether the board intends to contract with the elected superintendent of education for an additional term. The bill passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 19-10 and is on the House Education Policy committee’s agenda next Wednesday.
House Education Policy Committee – Wednesday, April 10 at 1:30 pm.
- HB150 by Rep. Garrett – State Board of Education Members Term Limits
HB339 by Rep. Ledbetter - This bill would require that the pledge of allegiance to the United States flag be conducted at the beginning of each school day in the public K-12 schools of the state. The bill will be in House Education Policy Wednesday, April 10, at 1:30p.m.
- SB222 by Sen. Butler - Appointed County Superintendent
HB209 by Rep. Pettus– School Resource Officer Qualifications – will be in the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee Wednesday, April 10, at 9:00a.m.
Convene Report - The House will convene Tuesday, April 9 at 1:00, and the Senate at 3:00 p.m. the same day.
To join the CLN contact the CLAS Communication Coordinator Susie Ellison via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 239-3616.
View All Bills CLAS is Tracking