The 2021 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature begins tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2. Already there are several bills that have been pre-filed that are of great concern to ALCAP and should be of concern for all citizens of Alabama.
Of immediate concern is SB46 (Senate Bill 46) which would legalize “medical” marijuana. A similar bill passed the Senate last year, but after the Legislative Session was cut short by the pandemic, it never came to the House for a vote. The bill has been re-introduced this year and appears to be on a “fast track” for passage in the Senate IN SPITE OF REPORTS THAT LEGISLATORS ARE “ONLY GOING TO ADDRESS THE MOST PRESSING BILLS EARLY IN THE SESSION.”
Apparently, they believe this highly controversial bill is among the “MOST PRESSING” legislation on which they need to focus. ALCAP has been told that this bill will likely be on the agenda for the first Senate Judiciary Committee meeting which is scheduled this Wednesday, February 3 at 8:30AM. Though access to the State House will be limited and only 27 seats will be available in the meeting room, and though those seats will be available on a “first-come-first-serve” basis, the committee (from what we have been able to surmise) is going to move forward with a public hearing on this bill (a public hearing that ALCAP requested).
This public hearing on a controversial and non-emergency bill will subject legislators, staff and the public to potential infection of COVID-19. Everyone entering the State House will be required to wear a mask and socially distance, but we all know that masks do not insure that people will not get infected. And, how do you socially distance when people are crowding together at the front door in order to be among the few that are allowed to enter the building?
If you have any kind of relationship with the Senate leaders (Sen. Greg Reed, who is poised to become the new Senate Pro Tem, Sen. Jabo Waggoner, the Senate Rules Committee Chair, or Sen. Tom Whatley, who is poised to become the new Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will be meeting on Wednesday), please use the links above and click on their picture to contact them and ask them to stop advancing controversial bills, such as SB46, until the pandemic is under control in our state.
Other bills that have been pre-filed include the following:
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES…
HB1 – Vulnerable Child Compassion & Protection Act (“VCAP” – a bill that prevents parents from performing transgender treatments and/or surgery on minor children) – ALCAP supports this bill
HB2 – Outlawing the drug Tianepline – ALCAP supports this bill
HB101 – Direct delivery of alcoholic beverages to homes – ALCAP opposes this bill
HB161 – Legalizes sports wagering – ALCAP opposes this bill
HB199 – Legalizes a state-sponsored lottery – ALCAP opposes this bill
HB200 – Legalizes casino gambling – ALCAP opposes this bill
IN THE SENATE…
SB10 – “VCAP” (a companion bill to HB1) – ALCAP supports this bill
SB46 – “Medical” marijuana – ALCAP opposes this bill We have been told that other pro-gambling bills are currently being drafted and will likely be introduced once the Regular Session begins. Please pray for ALCAP, other organizations and legislators who are attempting to stand up for what is moral and good for all citizens in our state.