Legislative Update 4/9/2021 Week 8

GAMBLING

The Senate passed the enabling legislation (SB320) for a legalized lottery (with a number of amendments) on Wednesday of this week. However, after that, they brought SB319 to the floor for debate. SB319 is the actual Constitutional Amendment that would legalized a state-sponsored lottery in Alabama. They passed a procedural vote to allow debate to take place, but then we were surprised when the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Jim McClendon, moved to “carry the bill over at the call of the chair.” This means that the bill can come to the floor at any time on any given day that the Senate is in session. On Thursday, the Senate adjourned until next Tuesday without bringing up SB319. News reports indicated that Sen. McClendon’s reason for carrying the bill over is that he did not feel confident that he had the votes to pass it. This indicates that your phone calls, texts and emails are having an impact! DO NOT STOP!

ACTION ALERT: Please continue to contact your State Senator and ask him/her to vote NO on SB319 if and when it comes back to the floor. There are only 9 legislative days left in this session and they should end the session by mid-May, so time is running out for them to pass this horrendous bill (and that’s a good thing)! 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.

Also, please contact Governor Kay Ivey’s office and share your disappointment in her public support for gambling expansion in Alabama. A news outlet this week reported that she is urging legislators to pass gambling legislation this session. Governor Ivey beat several gubernatorial candidates (both Republicans and Democrats) who were advocating for gambling expansion during the 2018 race for Governor of Alabama, while she continually commented that she was not going to push for gambling. Now, she is pushing for gambling!

“MEDICAL” MARIJUANA

SB46, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson, passed out of the Senate a few weeks ago and this week it passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. It is rare for a bill to go through two committees before it goes to the floor of the House for a vote, but SB46 has now been sent to the House Health Committee for their approval (or disapproval). Please contact your House member and ask him/her to vote NO on SB46. If your House member serves on the House Health Committee, we especially need for you to contact him/her and ask them to oppose this bill in committee:

  • Scott Stadthagen, District 9, Cullman, Marshall and Morgan Counties, lives in Hartselle; 334-261-0436; Scott.stadthagen@alhouse.gov
  • Jeff Sorrells, District 87, Geneva and Houston Co, lives in Hartford. 334-261-0542
  • Chris Sells, District 90, Montgomery Co, lives in Greenville. 334-261-0568; csea@centurytel.net
  • Ed Oliver, District 81, Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa Co, lives in Dadeville. 334-803-1889; Ed.oliver@alhouse.gov
  • Arnold Mooney, District 43, Shelby Co. Lives in Inverness area. 205-620-6610. Arnold.mooney@alhouse.gov
  • Charlotte Meadows, District 74, Montgomery. 334-261-0569; Charlotte.meadows@alhouse.gov
  • Rhett Marques, District 91, Coffee Co, lives in Enterprise. 334-261-0473; Rhett.Marques@alhouse.gov
  • Joe Lovvorn, District 79, Lee County, lives in Auburn. 334-261-0540; joe.lovvorn@alhouse.gov
  • Craig Lipscomb, District 30, Etowah and St. Clair Co, lives in Gadsden. 334-261-0546; Craig.lipscomb@alhouse.gov
  • Wes Kitchens, District 27, Blount, Dekalb and Marshall Co. 334-261-0539; weskitchens@mclo.org
  • (Chairman) Paul Lee, District 86, Houston Co, lives in Dothan. PLee@wrcjobs.com, attends Logos Baptist

We have heard marijuana lobbyists brag that they are on the verge of making a great deal of money if Alabama succumbs to this marijuana legalization attempt. Keep in mind that “medical” marijuana is a “backdoor” route to legalizing recreational marijuana. This is the playbook that marijuana proponents have used in every state and they are using it here in Alabama. It is all about the money!

ACTION ALERT: Please contact your Alabama House Member and ask him/her to vote NO on SB46. 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.

YOGA

HB246 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Many of the senators who opposed it last week did not get to the meeting in time to vote against the bill, so it now goes to the full Senate. Yoga is not just a “stretching exercise” — it is a religious practice of Hinduism. Exercises that include stretching are already legal in K-12 grade public schools in Alabama. Yoga is illegal because it is a religious practice, no matter what legislators and lobbyists say about it.

ACTION ALERT: Ask your State Senator to vote NO on HB246. 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.

ALCOHOL

Several bills legalizing the direct delivery of alcohol to consumers have been making their way through the legislature. Though we have opposed these bills, we can report that several (not all) of the bills have added restrictions. For example, the delivery personnel in some bills must go through special training and background checks. They will not be allowed to leave alcohol packages unattended at the door or with underaged residents, but must check IDs to make sure the recipient is of legal age. If no one aged 21 or older is home to receive the delivery, they must return the package to the distribution center or store.

VULNERABLE CHILD COMPASSION AND PROTECTION ACT (VCAP)

We are still waiting for action to be taken on the VCAP bill, HB1, sponsored by Rep. Wes Allen. This bill would make it illegal to give hormone blockers or perform surgical operations for the purpose of changing the sex of a child. ALCAP supports this bill and we will continue to monitor its progress through the legislative process.

“BORN ALIVE” BILL

HB237, sponsored by Rep. Ginny Shaver, requires attending physicians to do everything possible to save the life of a baby which might be born during a “botched” abortion. This bill has passed the House and it was given a favorable report by the Senate Health Committee unanimously, and we are now waiting for it to be placed on the calendar for debate and a vote by the Senate. There are a number of other bills that we have been monitoring, but we do not have additional information to share at this time.

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But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

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