Week #7 has been a busy week in the Legislature for ALCAP. Here is a list of the some of the activities surrounding the bills ALCAP is monitoring:
HB76 (the “Daycare Licensing Bill”) was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, having already passed the House, should be put on the Senate calendar for debate within the next week or two. ALCAP supports this bill as it has been amended and agreed upon by most concerned parties.
HB272 (sponsored by Democrat Representative Patricia Todd), which lowers the penalties on possession of marijuana failed to pass out of the House Judiciary Committee, but the companion bill, SB251 (sponsored by Republican Senator Dick Brewbaker) did pass out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 6-4 vote and may now go to the full Senate for debate. ALCAP opposes both these bills. To lower the penalties for possession of marijuana sends the wrong signal at a time in our culture when drug use continues to be an increasing problem among our nation’s youth. Given that the House Judiciary Committee failed to give their version of the bill a favorable report, it is very likely that the Senate will not waste time debating and voting on the Senate version of the bill, but we will continue to monitor SB251 and let you know if it begins to gain traction.
HB407 (sponsored by Republican Representative Reed Ingram), which would allow local governing bodies to regulate the sale of Sunday alcohol sales, including the start times, without a vote of the people was carried over in the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee after concerns were raised by ALCAP. During a public hearing ALCAP pointed out that some counties and municipalities had Sunday alcohol sales starting at noon as a result of a vote of the people. To change the start time for selling alcohol in those areas where the people voted should require a vote of the people again and not be decided by local officials. We anticipate that the bill will come back to the committee with an amendment that requires a vote of the people in those situations where the people voted originally for Sunday alcohol sales.
On Tuesday of this week, Republican Senator Paul Sanford introduced two pro-gambling bills: SB325, which would legalize Daily Fantasy Sports (online gambling that would put a casino in the hands of every person with a smart phone, including young people), and SB326, which would legalize a state-sponsored lottery. These bills will be on the agenda in the Senate Tourism & Marketing Committee next Wednesday (February 28) and ALCAP has requested a public hearing on each. Please contact your State Senator and ask him/her to oppose SB325 and SB326, especially if your senator serves on the Senate Tourism & Marketing Committee. The members of that committee include: Sen. Del Marsh (Chairman); Sen. Bobby Singleton (Vice-Chairman); Sen. Greg Albritton; Sen. Billy Beasley; Sen. Tim Melson; Sen. Trip Pittman; Sen. Paul Sanford (sponsor of the bill); and Sen. Roger Smitherman.
Continue to pray for the Alabama Legislators and their families. Also, please pray for ALCAP as your missionaries to the Alabama State House.