This session of the Alabama Legislature has begun with several bills being presented and sponsored by our local Legislative Delegation.

Representative Tommy  Hanes is the sponsor of ten bills. These bills include House Bill 1, which would reopen the DROP program to allow members of the Employees’ Retirement System or the Teachers’ Retirement System to  participate. Existing law provides that participation in the DROP is prohibited after March 24, 2011. If the bill passes it would reopen participation and would further provide options for Tier I and Tier II members.
House Bill 2 would limit the liability to injuries caused by traps or similar devices used on public land in violation of state laws or rules. Under existing law, a person is strictly liable for civil damages for causing injury or damage to a person or domestic animal of a person as a result of using traps or other similar devices on public land to take, capture or kill a fur bearing animal protected by state laws or rules.
House Bill 3 would place a limit on any annual salary increase of certain positions to three percent per year. Under existing law, the Governor or certain other appointing authorities set the salaries of appointed department heads and assistant department heads, members of the Governor’s cabinet and assistant cabinet members, officers and employees appointed in the exempt service and the executive assistants in the Governor’s office.
House Bill 4 would specify that on interstates and U.S. Highways, a commercial motor vehicle having three or more axles would be required to travel in the right lanes unless passing or under certain other conditions. Under current law, a motor vehicle traveling at less than normal speed of traffic is required to travel in the right hand lane or as close to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable.
House Bill 5 would provide an income tax refund check-off for a contribution to the State Parks Division, the Department of Mental Health or the Alabama Medicaid Agency.
House Bill 6 would prohibit the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources from requesting a waiver of federal work requirements for able bodied adults without dependants who are applicants or recipients of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (Food Stamps). It would further require all able bodied audits without dependents who are applicants or recipients of SNAP benefits to participate in minimum work requirements, provide documentation of engaging in work training, or participate in volunteer community service and would provide limited exemptions for these requirements. Under existing law, in certain circumstances, a state may request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture of the work requirements that an able bodied adult without dependents must comply with in order to receive SNAP.
House Bill 7 would require existing, non volunteer fire departments in the state, with paid firefighters on duty eight hours or more per day to install a diesel exhaust system in the fire station building or on each of the diesel fire apparatus within a certain time frame. The bill would also require any new construction of a fire station to include the design in the installation of a diesel exhaust system or if the design process in complete and construction has commenced, it would require this system be installed within five years.
House Bill 41 would provide that a retired certified firefighter who is diagnosed with a cancer that is considered an occupational disease would receive supplemental insurance coverage or reimbursement of his or her actual expenses for medical treatment to the cancer that is not covered by their own health insurance or Medicare, if the cancer was diagnosed within ten years of their retirement. Under existing law certain benefits, including insurance coverage, disability and workers’ compensation, for any active city or sate firefighter who has an occupational disease, including cancer, which manifests while they are employed, is provided for.
House Bill 1183 would propose an amendment to the Constitution relation to Jackson County; to  provide that treated human sewage biosolids may not be applied on land as a fertilizer or soil amendment. The proposal would be placed on the next election ballot and followed by a yes or no box. If Voters vote No on the ballot, there will be no restrictions on the placement of biosolids. However, if they vote yes, biosolids will not be allowed to be applied on land in Jackson County.
House Bill 185 would propose an amendment exempting the state from observance of daylight savings time. The proposal would be placed on the next election ballot. If the majority of voters vote yes, the state would be exempt from daylight savings time. However, if the majority of voters vote no, the state will continue to observe daylight savings time.
According to the legislative website representative Ritchie Whorton co-sponsored House Bill’s 1-6. Whorton is also the Co -Sponsor of several other bills, including  House Bill 173 which provides the authority to counties to abate rollback ad valorem taxes for certain projects that qualify for the incentives under the Alabama Jobs Act.
House Bill 182 which would require certain costs to the Home Builders Licensure Board. Under existing law, the Homebuilders Licensure Board Licenses and regulates persons who engage in home building and regulates persons who engage in home building and private residential construction when the cost of the project exceeds $10,000.
House Bill 228 which allows the use of the national motto of “ In God We Trust” by government agencies and offices in and on public buildings including government office buildings, public school classrooms and on vehicles.
And House Bill 231 which would repeal certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of a firearm on certain property or in a motor vehicle by persons with or without a concealed pistol permit. It would also revise certain restrictions on the carrying or possession of firearms at certain locations.
Senator Steve Livingston has sponsored  Senate Bill 63. Under current law, a petition for refund of sales or use tax must be filed jointly by the taxpayer and consumer/purchaser. A direct petition may be filed by the tax payer if they never collected the tax. This bill would eliminate the jointly filed petition for refund and allow the consumer/purchaser who paid the tax to a licensed seller to file a direction petition for refund.
Senate Bill 147 which would require certain costs to the Home Builders Licensure Board. Under existing law, the Homebuilders Licensure Board Licenses and regulates persons who engage in home building and regulates persons who engage in home building and private residential construction when the cost of the project exceeds $10,000.
Senate Bill 145 which would propose a local constitutional amendment relating to Jackson County to authorize the Cumberland Mountain Water and Fire Protection Authority to provide natural gas services.
Livingston is also the co sponsor of Senate Bill 92 which minimizes Unemployment benefits.

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