Legislative Update 2/26/2021

GAMBLING

As a reminder, on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Sen. Del Marsh introduced Senate Bill 214 (SB214), calling for a constitutional amendment to be voted on by the citizens of Alabama that would legalize gambling in the state. The bill was voted out of the Senate Tourism Committee that Wednesday by a unanimous vote and Sen. Marsh indicated it would be on the floor of the Senate the next day (Thursday, February 11). He added that he would move that they “carry over” the final vote until after the Legislature’s scheduled 10-day break. This was to give the senators time to hear from their constituents. When they returned on February 23, Marsh indicated that he would not bring the bill to the floor for two weeks. This leads me to believe that he does not have the votes to pass it yet or he is trying to add even more gambling to the bill. Rumor has it that instead of 5-7 casinos, they are now talking about 8-10 casinos throughout the state. Hopefully, we can get constituents to pressure their senators to oppose this bill. We will keep everyone updated by way of our ALCAP Alerts. Everyone still has time to contact their State Senator and urge him/her to vote NO on SB214. Click here if you know your State Senator’s name. Click on their picture and fill out the form to continue with your message. Click here if you do not know your State Senator’s name. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

We are not talking about a simple “paper lottery,” but wide-spread gambling involving electronic gambling devices (slot machines and possibly online gambling “in the palm of your hand”); full-fledged casinos up and down the state; and a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians which would allow them to add a casino in Northeast Alabama near Huntsville and Chattanooga, TN, and now, possibly, a casino in every district of Alabama.

The argument from legislators who favor this bill is that they “just want to allow the people of Alabama to vote on gambling,” but what they really mean is they want to allow the big lottery management companies, the casino operators and the tribal gambling bosses to BUY the votes of the people. These gambling enterprises will combine their resources and grossly outspend gambling opponents.

Who will be the opponents? — Mostly the churches which will have to take the precious few ministry and missions dollars they have to fight this constitutional amendment. Gambling (whether you are talking about lottery games or casino gambling) will prey on the poorest people in our state and will lead to many more people losing everything they have on the false promise that they will “strike it rich!” In the end, churches will also lose as they are called upon to help families that will have lost everything they own (including their mortgages) through government-sanctioned and government-sponsored gambling.

For more information, click on the following links…

Document shared with the Governor’s Gambling Policy Study Committee last summer – Report to the Governor’s Gambling Policy Study Committee by Joseph C. Godfrey. Stop Predatory Gambling

SB46 – “MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Senate Bill 46 (SB46), the “Medical” marijuana bill, unfortunately, passed out of the Alabama Senate 21-8. The senators who voted NO included Senators Allen, Butler, Givhan, Holley, Orr, Reed, Roberts, Scofield, Shelnutt and Stutts. If you live in the district of any of these senators, please contact them and thank them for their NO vote. Click on their picture, fill out the form with your contact information, then “continue” to send your message. The bill now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives. Speaker Mac McCutcheon indicated that it will go through two House committees before it comes to the floor of the House for a vote: 1) The House Judiciary Committee; and 2) the House Health Committee. Please contact your Alabama House member and ask him/her to vote NO on SB46. Click on their picture and fill out the form to continue with your message. Click here if you do not know the name of your State House Member. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

VULNERABLE CHILD COMPASSION AND PROTECTION ACT (VCAP)

The two versions of this bill (one in the Senate and one in the House) were both in committee recently. House Bill 1 (HB1) had a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, was amended in committee, and then given a “favorable report,” meaning it now goes to the full House for debate and a vote. Senate Bill 10 (SB10), after a public hearing, was passed out of the Senate Health Committee. Both bills prohibit gender change therapy for minors and prohibit the withholding of certain related information from parents. ALCAP supports both of these bills and we encourage you to let your State Senator and State House Member know that you want them to vote YES on both bills. Click here if you know your State Senator’s name. Click here if you know your State House Member’s name. Click on their picture and fill out the form to continue with your message. Click here if you do not know the name of your State Senator or House Member. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

ALCOHOL

Several bills are making their way through the House and Senate that will allow for direct shipment of alcoholic beverages directly to the homes of Alabama citizens. Do not expect delivery service personnel to check IDs of those receiving the shipments! If any of these bills are passed by both houses and signed by the Governor, the result will be alcoholic beverages becoming available without any restrictions. Let me remind everyone that alcohol is a mind-altering and addictive drug and should be very restricted in its availability. It is not like buying regular grocery items online. Please see the instructions above to contact your Senator and House member and ask them to oppose all alcohol direct-delivery bills.

YOGA

HB246 has been introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives and was given a “favorable report” by the House Education Policy Committee, sending it to the full House for debate and a vote. This bill attempts to overturn existing law that bans the practice of yoga and meditation in public schools throughout the state. I interviewed Rev. Clete Hux, Executive Director of the Apologetics Resource Center in Birmingham, concerning why this bill is really a “Trojan Horse” that will establish the Hindu religion in public schools. ALCAP produced a 21-minute video of an interview with Clete Hux discussing this issue. You can view this interview here…

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2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

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