State legislative agenda preview: Feb. 29 – March 4, 2016

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The Alabama Senate and House of Representatives will convene at 2 p.m. Tuesday for the fifth week of this year’s Legislative Session.

Before the session gets underway, the Senate Committee on Fiscal responsibility and Economic Development will meet to discuss HB 37 from Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Birmingham), which will add Alabama’s status as a “Right-to-Work” state in the constitution. The legislation has already cleared the House.

Committee hearings will go into full force on Wednesday, with Senate Committee on Tourism and Marketing meeting to discuss gaming legislation that would create a state lottery in conjunction with other multistate gaming operations. The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to take up SB 231 from Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), a bill that would clarify the definition of “moral turpitude,” crimes that now prohibit a person from regaining voting rights.

The House Committee on Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure will take up the Interstate Power Compact, which would authorize states involved to set regulations regarding clean air policies without adhering to rules mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The House Committee on Health will take up HB 183 from Rep. Kerry Rich (R-Guntersville), which would require abortion providers to provide women seeking an abortion with a sonogram – the bill would further provide penalties for failing to do so.

The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee will meet to discuss the ambitious prison reform plan from Gov. Robert Bentley and the House Committee on State Government will take up Sen. Gerald Allen‘s (R-Tuscaloosa) controversial Alabama Heritage Preservation Act, which is being carried in the House by Rep. Paul Beckman (R-Prattville).

On the floor, the Senate will debate a bill requiring Alabama high school students to pass a civics test to graduate and a bill setting term limits for senators and representatives. The Senate will also take up a bill mandating all car passengers to wear a seat belt, as well as Allen’s Alabama Heritage Preservation Act.

The House will debate legislation requiring wireless service providers to give location information to law enforcement upon request and the Fantasy Contest Act, which would regulate fantasy gaming in the state. Also on the House’s agenda is the allowance of a state lottery and the easing of regulations for in-state alcohol makers.

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