Final Week – Alabama Legislative Session 2022

SEXUAL ISSUES RELATED TO CHILDREN

On Thursday, April 7, 2022, the last day of the Regular Session, we experienced two stunning victories in the Alabama Legislature. The Alabama Senate passed HB322 that requires school children to use the bathroom that matches their sex at birth. An amendment was added that prevents sexual orientation from being taught in grades K-5, and the House voted to concur with the Senate amendment. Now the bill must go to the Governor for her signature.

The second victory was the passage of SB184 in the House. Known as the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (VCAP), this bill prevents parents from allowing hormone blockers and/or surgical procedures to be used on their children under the age of 19. There are exceptions in the legislation for using hormone blockers, but they cannot be used for the purpose of trying to change the sexual appearance of a child before that child can make their own decision.

We have worked for three years to get this bill passed, and now, it has been accomplished. Again, this bill must go to the Governor for her signature.

ACTION TO TAKE: Contact Governor Ivey’s office and ask her to sign HB322 and SB184.

GAMBLING

As we reported in an ALCAP Alert last week, All pro-gambling bills failed to get to either the Senate or the House floor for debate. We want to thank everyone who worked with ALCAP to stop gambling expansion again this year, but we fully expect it to keep resurfacing. Gambling bosses will not give up, so neither should we.

ACTION TO TAKE: During the next few weeks, as candidates are begging for your vote, let them know that you do NOT want them supporting pro-gambling bills. Let them know that we don’t need to vote on legalizing more gambling, but we want our local and state-elected officials to enforce the current gambling laws by shutting down illegal casinos. No where in America has legalized gambling stopped illegal gambling. If they are not going to stop the illegal gambling taking place now, why would legalizing it stop illegal gambling going forward? For more information on how state-sponsored lotteries and state-sanctioned casinos are failed public policies in every state where they are legal, visit www.StopPredatoryGambling.org.

ALCOHOL

The Legislature passed several alcohol bills during this session. Though ALCAP opposed all of these bills and spoke out against them at public hearings, we were able to have positive input and get amendments added that help to restrict alcohol as much as possible.

HB119, sponsored by Rep. Gil Isbell, allows for the sell of beer and wine at drive-thru windows. After passing the House, a Senate committee added an amendment from Sen. Steve Livingston that would allow “spirits” (hard liquor) to be sold at drive-thru windows, as well. Thankfully, that amendment was removed before the bill finally passed the Senate.

HB234, sponsored by Rep. Neil Rafferty, allows for food trucks in Birmingham (only) to sell alcoholic beverages. ALCAP managed to get an amendment added that restricts this practice to times when the food trucks are parked at existing entertainment districts where alcohol is already allowed. In other words, a food truck may not pull up anywhere they want (including near schools or churches) and sell alcohol.

HB395, sponsored by Rep. Joe Lovvorn, allows certain Alabama universities and community colleges to teach brewing and distilling practices as a part of their “hospitality” education programs. Some of ALCAP’s concerns were addressed by an amendment that requires the college or university to have a full-fledged campus police force and not just a security detail, but we still foresee major problems with the passage of this legislation.

MARIJUANA

Working with others, ALCAP was unable to get a bill passed that would restrict the sell of “medical” marijuana to pregnant women once the “medical” marijuana dispensaries begin opening in the next few months. ALCAP will continue to work to restrict marijuana sales, but Alabamians, and especially churches, need to get ready for what is coming. Greg Davis reported that he saw an interview with the “medical” marijuana commissioner, John McMillan, in which Mr. McMillan claimed that “some people” (a clear reference to ALCAP) are untruthful when we warn of “pot shops (a.k.a., dispensaries) on every corner.” He claimed that there will only be 37 dispensaries state-wide. When pressed by the interviewer, he went on to acknowledge, however, that “37” is only the beginning. He said that as demand rises, more dispensaries will be added. This is exactly what ALCAP has been warning about!

ACTION TO TAKE: Contact your local city council and county commissioners, and ask them to NOT allow dispensaries in your community. When this bill was passed by the Alabama Legislature and signed by Governor Ivey last year, ALCAP was able to get an amendment added that required city councils or county commissions to vote on whether or not a dispensary could be built in their city or county. Your local officials will be heavily lobbied by the marijuana industry to approve these pot shops, so you need to let your voices of opposition be heard.


PERSONAL WORD

As of May 1, 2022, Greg Davis will officially take over as the President and CEO of ALCAP and American Character Builders (our educational program). Please pray for him and Kyle Brassell, who will be taking over for “also-retiring” Cheryl Corley. I ask that you pray for Greg and Kyle, and continue to support them and these two ministries with your prayers and financial gifts.

On behalf of Cheryl and myself and all the staff and directors who preceded us (and our/their families), I want to thank you for your friendship and prayers for us through the years. The need for organizations like ALCAP and American Character Builders continues to be great, so continue on as Christ’s soldiers in the spiritual battles we will keep facing until Jesus returns. I will continue to be engaged and serving in a supportive role and I look forward to what God is going to accomplish through us all in the days ahead. — Joe Godfrey

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2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

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