All three of the bills (HB24-Adoption-Rep. Rich Wingo; HB95-Conscience- Rep. Arnold Mooney; HB96-Suicide- Rep. Mack Butler) that are being backed by ALCAP and the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition (APLC) were reported out of the Alabama House Health Committee this week, after public hearings on each.
A third bill, not on the APLC agenda, making a public policy statement that Alabama recognizes the unborn, also passed. We are asking for a “Pro-Life Day” for all of the bills to come up on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives. Senator Bill Hightower has also dropped SB145, on adoption, a companion bill to HB24, in the Senate. Other Senators should be dropping companion bills to the other pro-life House bills in the next few days. Please ask fellow pastors and church members to thank the sponsors and Rep. April Weaver, chairperson of the House Health Committee.
Pro-gambling bills appear to be on hold until the Governor’s Advisory Council on Gaming (Gambling) makes its final report. We expect this to come before the end of the 2017 Session, though the deadline for the Council’s report is not until after the session has ended. ALCAP will keep you updated as information becomes available. However, a Daily Fantasy Sports bill (SB28), sponsored by Sen. Tom Whatley, has been introduced and may begin to move through the Senate before the Advisory Council reports. This bill, if passed, would essentially legalize online gambling in Alabama. For more information on this issue, click here for the document Daily Fantasy Sports Fact Sheet or visit the Stop Predatory Gambling website www.StopPredatoryGambling.org.
Rep. Bill Poole introduced a bill that lowers the age of majority from 19 to 18 years of age. There was an exception made for tobacco that kept the purchase, use and possession of tobacco products at age 19 (the current law), but nothing in the bill clarified that the purchase, use or possession of alcohol would remain at the age of 21, as the current law states. ALCAP communicated our concerns about that with the bill’s sponsor, and he is having the bill redrafted to include the appropriate language to keep alcohol use, etc. at the current age of 21 and above.
There are several Sunday alcohol sale bills being introduced. All of these are local bills and are being driven by city councils and county commissioners. It is important that pastors and church leaders contact your city council members, county commissioners and state representatives and senators and urge them to oppose Sunday alcohol sales. Many of these bills will allow Sunday alcohol sales by a simple vote of the city council or county commission, without a vote of the people.
ALCAP offers congratulations to Alabama’s own Jeff Sessions as our new United States Attorney General and to Luther Strange as Alabama’s new U.S. Senator. Pray for these men and their families. Also, pray that God’s will be done as a new Alabama Attorney General is appointed.