After two weeks of spring break, legislators returned to Montgomery on April 4. We are now half way through the session and so far, none of the pro-gambling bills have been advanced. We continue to hear that everyone is waiting for the Governor’s Advisory Council on Gaming (Gambling) to make its report before proceeding with any gambling legislation. We expect that report to be ready by mid-April, which may be too late for any gambling bills to get passed during this session.
Having said that, the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) gambling bills have already passed out of committees in both the House (HB354) and Senate (SB270), but have not been placed on the calendars of either house for full floor debate. The Senate leaders have indicated they will not address this issue until the House passes a DFS bill, so we are watching the House very carefully. We will let you know if any movement takes place, but feel free to contact your House member and State Senator any time and let them know of your objection to these bills.
HB277 that requires church daycares to be licensed by the Department of Human Resources (DHR) continues to be undergoing “behind the scenes” negotiations. While everyone wants to protect children, there is also a concern about protecting the religious freedom of churches. We hope to be able to report that a compromise has been worked out before the bill is placed on the calendar in the House.
Marijuana legalization/commercialization is not moving in the legislature, but it has become a “hot topic” on social media and in the secular media in Alabama. Churches need to begin equipping themselves for this growing issue. ALCAP and our educational program, American Character Builders, have resources you can use to educate your church members on this issue. Sadly, even many church members are beginning to argue that people should be allowed to use marijuana for recreational purposes. We are quickly approaching a cultural mentality not unlike that of ancient Israel as described in the Book of Judges, “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 and 21:25)
The pro-life bills passed in the House before spring break are currently making their way through the Senate. As soon as we know what day the Senate will take up these bills, we will let you know.
It is expected that this coming week the House will spend much of its time engaged in the impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley. Be in prayer for everyone involved in this issue. Pray for Governor Bentley and his staff. Pray for the House members as they seek to make the right decisions. Pray for the senators, if they are called on to try the impeachment case. Pray for Lt. Governor Kay Ivey and her staff in the event she assumes the duties of the Governor. Pray for our state as we all struggle through this serious issue.