The following brief video was made as the Alabama Legislature was about to adjourn sine die, ending the 2019 Regular Session on Friday, May 31, 2019.
In addition to the bills mentioned in the video, there were other bills that ALCAP monitored.
- Senate Bill 236 (SB236), sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, had to do with medical marijuana. It was an extensive legalization of medical marijuana when it came out of the Senate, but the House substituted and amended the bill so that its final version was somewhat different. The final version of the bill simply extended for one year Carly’s Law that was passed a few years ago. The original bill allowed for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to study the use of cannabidiol (CBD oil) in children that have debilitating epileptic seizures. The final version of the bill also calls for a study commission to make recommendations to the Alabama Legislature concerning the legalization of medical marijuana in the future. We are currently working with others to suggest qualified experts to serve on this commission.
- House Bill 350 (HB350), sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins (who also sponsored the pro-life bill), legalizes, with certain restrictions, the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages to the homes of individuals. ALCAP commends Rep. Collins for her efforts in passing the important pro-life bill, but we are disappointed in the passage of HB350.
- Two local gambling bills failed to pass: One called for a local constitutional amendment in Greene County and the other called for a local constitutional amendment in Macon County, allowing the people of those two counties to vote on legalizing electronic gambling devices (“slot machines”).
As mentioned in the video (but with a little more detail presented here)…
- HB314 (the pro-life bill) passed and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. This bill makes all abortions illegal in Alabama once implantation in the uterine wall takes place. It is hoped this law will be used by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortions nationwide.
- HB361, legalizing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), sponsored by Rep. Kyle South, passed both houses. ALCAP argued that DFS is gambling and should have been a constitutional amendment, requiring a vote of Alabama citizens. Proponents argued that it is a game of skill and did not require a vote of the people. For more information on Daily Fantasy Sports, visit www.StopPredatoryGambling.org.
- SB220, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, would have given the people of Alabama an opportunity to vote to legalize a state-sponsored lottery. This bill passed the Senate with the 21 votes needed for passage, but failed to pass a procedural vote in the House and thus it “died.” The reason is that one group of legislators wanted to include electronic gambling devices (“slot machines”) at existing dog tracks and other designated locations; another group wanted paper lottery tickets only; and, another group of legislators, acting on principle, wanted no gambling expansion in the state at all. The result was that there were not enough votes to pass a lottery bill. We anticipate that it may come up again as a suggested source of revenue to fund prison reform when the Legislature convenes in September or October for a Special Session (as some have indicated will take place). This is why churches and concerned citizens need to mobilize and educate their members and communities about how state-sponsored and state-sanctioned gambling are not only immoral, but are bad for the economy, as well. I am available and would welcome opportunities to share with your church and/or community the facts concerning gambling. Contact our ALCAP office to schedule an educational event in your church and/or community.
Feel free to show the video and report on the other bills in your church or small group meetings. ALCAP is grateful for your prayers and financial support. We are YOUR missionaries to the Alabama Legislature and seek to be the “salt and light” Christ called His followers to be in the world.