Alabama legislative agenda preview: May 26-28

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Tuesday will be the 25th Legislative Day for Alabama lawmakers, leaving just five more days for the legislature to pass a general fund budget.

Sen. Gerald Dial has filed a constitutional amendment to unify the education and general fund budgets for future years in an effort to solve the long-term imbalance in funding between the two funding pools. While an earlier proposal filed in the Senate would allow the two funds to share growth revenue, Senate Bill 502 would create a single budget without any earmarks for specific programs or budget items. The Senate finance and taxation panel is expected to vote on the proposal on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

We may see more news from the Senate on Tuesday as Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh confirmed plans to bring his lottery and gaming proposal to the floor for a vote.

House members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on House Bill 664, a plan from Sen. Jabo Waggoner to allow members of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission to be appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives rather than the state board of education.

According to the House special order calendar, members are also scheduled to vote Tuesday on bills to allow age-appropriate sexual abuse awareness programs in public schools, establish greater protection for victims of domestic violence, and a measure to block abortion clinics from operating near public schools.

Here are a few of the items on committee agendas this week:

… The House Judiciary committee will consider two bills this week to strengthen civil rights protections in the LGBT community. On Tuesday, the panel will hear public comment on House Bill 657, companion legislation to a proposal filed last week by Sen. Del Marsh to ban employment discrimination on the basis of gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation. The next day, lawmakers will hold a public hearing on House Bill 615, Rep. Chris England’s proposal to establish civil rights protections against any discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or familiar status.

… The House committee on public safety is scheduled to vote on House Bill 261, the companion bill to  Senate Bill 468, also known as the Alabama Dog Tethering and Outdoor Shelter Act. Rep. Steve McMillan brought the bill to make it illegal for dog owners to tie their pets to stationary objects and says that any pet kept outside must have adequate food, water, and shelter.

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