Prison reform, privacy bills awaiting governor

Prison Jail

Though the Alabama Legislature has yet to send general fund or education budgets to Gov. Robert Bentley for signature, statewide prison reform and privacy bills are among the pieces of legislation  awaiting the governor’s signature.

Physicians practicing in Alabama will soon see changes in licensing and fee guidelines under two measures that passed out of the statehouse this week. Senate Bill 125 eases the process of licensing physicians in multiple states and Senate Bill 167 lowers the fees that physicians pay to provide pain management services.

Sen. Rodger Smitherman’s Right of Publicity Act went to the Alabama governor this week. Senate Bill 197 establishes the right to exercise commercial control over a person’s likeness and attributes of their personal identity.

Last week, the Legislature sent a comprehensive plan to reduce crowding in state prisons to Bentley for signature. The governor has yet to sign Senate Bill 67, which was championed by sponsor Sen. Cam Ward and members of the Prison Reform Task Force. However, according to Rep. Steve Clouse, those reforms would not be funded under the austere budget under consideration by House members.