Legislative Update 4/30/2021 Week 11

GAMBLING

With only three legislative days left in the 2021 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, gambling legislation is making its final, big push. Next Tuesday, May 4, the House Tourism Committee is scheduled to meet and vote to send SB319 to the full House for debate and a vote. This is Sen. Jim McClendon’s gambling bill which calls for a constitutional amendment to be voted on by the people of Alabama, legalizing a state-sponsored lottery, full-fledged casino gambling at existing dog tracks and possibly other locations, a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, allowing them to have full-fledged casino gambling at their current locations and build a new casino in Northeast Alabama. SB319 will also legalize sports betting and online gambling that will put a casino in the hands of anyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer, including children (who will know how to circumvent any restrictions on their devices).

The House is working on changes to this bill and the enabling legislation, introduced by Sen. Del Marsh. If SB319 (the main constitutional amendment) passes the House with amendments, the bill will go back to the Senate for them to either “concur,” “non-concur” and/or go to a conference committee between the two houses for a compromise bill to be “worked out.” If a compromise bill is agreed upon, that bill will require three fifths of the body of each house to approve. If that happens, the constitutional amendment will be place on the November 2022 ballot for the voters of Alabama to decide, but not before tens of millions of dollars will be spent by the pro-gambling forces (lottery management companies, casino gambling bosses, slot machine manufacturers and gambling software companies) to convince the citizens of Alabama how great and wonderful gambling will be for the state. We all know, however, that the only real winners will be the gambling bosses and the gambling companies.

There is still time to stop this push for gambling in the Alabama State House! Call and/or email your Alabama House Member TODAY and respectfully, but firmly let him/her know that you want them to vote NO on SB319! They will possibly argue that this gambling legislation will restrict illegal gambling in the state, but data show that illegal gambling actually increases after gambling legalization takes place. That’s like saying, “Prostitution is rampant, so let’s legalize it and restrict it,” or “Human sex trafficking is rampant, so let’s legalize it and restrict it.” If they want to stop illegal gambling, Governor Ivey should rescind her order that blocks the Attorney General from using State Troopers to shut down illegal gambling operations and that would solve the problem! The legislature could also strengthen the penalties for illegal gambling without expanding it.

ACTION ALERT: Contact your Alabama House Member and ask him/her to vote NO on SB319. 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 House Member. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

“MEDICAL” MARIJUANA

The “medical” marijuana bill (SB46, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson and already passed by the full senate) is also likely to come to the floor of the House of Representatives sometime during these last three legislative days. In every state where “medical” marijuana has been legalized, recreational marijuana soon follows or is being pushed. This bill will make marijuana available to children and youth, and it sends a message that marijuana is safe — IT IS NOT!

ACTION ALERT: Contact your House member today and ask him/her to vote NO on SB46 (“medical” marijuana). 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 House Member. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

We, especially, need those of you who live in the districts of the following House members to contact your House member…

  1. Pettus, Killen 256-762-2916 pjpettus@aol.com
  2. Greer, Rogersville 256-412-8695 lynngreer15@gmail.com
  3. Sorrell, Florence 256-577-8562  jasorrell@comcast.net
  4. Moore, Hartselle 334-345-7517  pdmoore1@gmail.com
  5. Crawford, Athens 256-656-1224  danny.f.crawford@gmail.com
  6. Estes, Winfield 205-468-0643  jtracyestes@gmail.com
  7. Reynolds, Huntsville 256-479-6035  reynoldsdist21@gmail.com
  8. Robbins, Sylacauga 205-907-5091  bwrobbinsatty@gmail.com
  9. Wood, Valley 706-773-9404  debbie.wood@alhouse.gov
  10. Smith, Prattville 205-294-4828  vansmith53@gmail.com
  11. Drake, Leeds  dickiedrake45@gmail.com
  12. Sullivan, Northport 205-792-0718  wrsullivan09@gmail.com
  13. Easterbrook, Fruitdale 251-423-5336  brett.easterbrook@yahoo.com
  14. Baker, Brewton 251-363-9101  staterep@co.escambia.al.us
  15. Oliver, Dadeville 334-803-1889  rotorems@gmail.com
  16. Sorrells, Hartford 334-248-2511  jeffsorrells22285@gmail.com
  17. Dismukes, Elmore 334-322-2873  wdismukes@customfloorcovering.biz
  18. Wilcox, Mobile 251-421-8309  wilcox.margie@gmail.com

VULNERABLE CHILD COMPASSION AND PROTECTION ACT (VCAP)

SB10, sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt, passed out of the Senate and out of the House Health Committee, but it has stalled for the time being. This bill will protect children from hormone blockers and surgical procedures in order to change their birth sex before they are old enough to make that decision for themselves.

ACTION ALERT: While you are contacting House members about voting NO on gambling expansion and voting NO on “medical” marijuana, ask them to vote YES on SB10 (the VCAP bill). With only 3 legislative days left in this session, time is running out to pass this important bill.

YOGA

We expect HB246, sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Gray, to come to the full senate during these last three legislative days. This bill will allow a Hindu practice to be taught in public K-12 grades. The proponents argue publicly that it is “just stretching exercises.” However, stretching exercises are already allowed in public schools. Yoga is a Hindu practice that involves Eastern meditation and is heavily religious in nature. ACTION ALERT: Contact your Alabama State Senator and ask him/her to vote NO on HB246 (the “Yoga” bill). 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 the name of your State Senator. Enter your zip-code. You will be directed to a page where you must scroll down to find your State Legislator.

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