Alabama legislative agenda preview: Feb. 8 – Feb. 12, 2016

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Alabama State Capitol

Alabama’s 2016 Legislative Session began last week and, though little of substance was accomplished in either chamber, there was wild action in and around the state house and things are shaping up to pick up pace this week.

Last week, legislators met on Tuesday for the first day of the Session. Aside from a few resolutions passed in the Senate, there was no action to speak of – legislators are in the process of finalizing and filing bills and sending them through the required committees before those bits of legislation will see the chamber floor.

Also during last week’s crescendo, Alabama Finance Director Bill Newton held a press conference to discuss Gov. Robert Bentley‘s budget proposal, which was touched on during the governor’s State of the State address, Senate Republicans announced their 2016 agenda and a variety of committee meetings were held to discuss proposed legislation.

This week, the Legislature is set to reconvene on Tuesday, with the House getting started at 1 p.m. and the Senate at 2 p.m. Bills discussed in committee last week, including two regarding child abuse sentencing laws, will likely make it onto the floor this week.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs is slated to meet to discuss a slew of bills, including SB13, which will establish the Alabama Heritage Preservation Act and prohibit tampering with or relocating commemorative statues on public property.

The Senate Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development is scheduled to meet to discuss a variety of expiring Sunset Laws and the Rules Committee is scheduled to meet to discuss unnamed legislation.

On Wednesday, committee meetings will continue with the Education Policy Committee gathering to discuss SB60, which would terminate Common Core Curriculum Standards in the state, and SB89, which would require Alabama high school students to pass a civics test before graduating.

The House Committee on Economic Development and Tourism will also meet Wednesday to discuss a lottery proposal in a public hearing, as well as two bills aimed at giving alcohol producers more leeway in how they sell their product.

The Senate Committee on Constitution Ethics and Elections will also meet Wednesday to discuss SB71, a Democrat-sponsored bill aimed at providing automatic voter registration, and SB120, which would set a three-term limit on all Alabama legislators.

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