There is not much to report from the Alabama Legislature during week #6 of the session. The Education Trust Fund Budget was passed by the House and now goes to the Senate, so that took a lot of the time.
One local bill (HB267), sponsored by Rep. James Buskey, allows the Mobile County Commission and/or city councils of local municipalities within Mobile County to change the start time for Sunday alcohol sales from noon to 10:00 a.m. passed the House and was presented to the local delegation of State Senators from Mobile County in a meeting on Thursday.
I attended the meeting and pointed out to the Representatives and Senators in attendance that this bill undoes what the Legislature voted to do last year. The “Brunch Bill” (as it was called) was passed last year and is currently the law in Alabama. This bill allows counties and municipalities to change the start time for Sunday alcohol sales by action of their local commissions and/or councils.
However, an amendment was added last year that stated that if the county or municipality passed Sunday alcohol sales by a referendum or as a constitutional amendment (both requiring a vote of the people), then it would take a vote of the people to change the start time.
With HB267, Mobile County is attempting to legalize an earlier start time for Sunday alcohol sales WITHOUT A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE! We encourage Mobile County residents to contact their State Senator and House Member and “pitch a fit” about this “sneaky” attempt to override the vote of the citizens of Mobile County. Also, those living in other areas of the state should beware. If this local bill passes, it will set a precedent for other counties and municipalities to follow in the future.
HB76, the Daycare Licensing Bill, will be in a Senate committee this Wednesday, February 21. We will let you know in our next update what happens in that committee meeting.