Latest bills to hit Alabama Legislature address Common Core, alcohol and tax breaks

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With the 2016 legislative session under way, a slew of bills have been filed and are making the rounds through various committees of the Alabama Legislature.

Several of those bills are aimed at tackling House and Senate Republicans’ recently announced legislative agendas, including bills to add Alabama’s status as a “Right to Work” state to the state’s Constitution (HB37), a bill declaring the sell of fetal tissue illegal (HB45), tax credits for state ports (HB34) and small businesses (HB36) and a bill aimed at providing broadband Internet to rural areas of the state (HB41).

Rep. Alan Boothe (R-Troy) has filed HB46, which will allow Alabama distilleries to sell up to 750 milliliters, commonly referred to as a “fifth,” to customers for off-premise consumption annually. The bill comes after the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Study Commission made several recommendations a few weeks ago to put the state on an even keel with other states.

Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) has offered a bill, HB47, that would allow for warrantless arrests of people found trespassing on school property in “certain conditions.” Current law states that officers may arrest citizens without a warrant in multiple cases, including if the officer has “reasonable cause to believe” a felony or misdemeanor has been committed. This bill simply adds trespassing on educational premises to that clause.

In the Senate, Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Mobile) has filed a bill, SB60, which will repeal Common Core curriculum standards in the state and revert back to Math and English courses used before the adoption of the new standards. Further, the bill would restrict the Alabama Department of Education from “adopting or implementing” any national standards or “requiring the use of any assessments” associated with a national program.

Contrary to the call in Glover’s bill, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) stated during Wednesday’s agenda announcement that curriculum decisions should be left up to the state school board and, should the repeal get through committee, there is likely not enough votes to pass it.

The legislature will reconvene Tuesday at 9 a.m. when those bills which have made it through committee, including two child abuse sentencing bills addressed in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, will inch closer to seeing their day on the floor.

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