Week 4 – Alabama Legislative Session 2020

Two important bills were given a favorable report (meaning that they were voted out of committee and will go to the full House or Senate for debate and discussion) — House Bill 303 (HB303), sponsored by Rep. Wes Allen, and Senate Bill 219 (SB219), sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt. Both bills are called the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” and, if passed and signed into law by the Governor, will “prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication, upon or to a minor child (under the age of 19), that is intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty, with certain exception.” 

Transgendered individuals and family members of transgendered individuals filled the committee meeting rooms to protest the bills, but both the House and Senate Health Committees gave a favorable report to the bills. Each bill will now go to their respective houses for debate and a vote. Please contact your House Member and State Senator, and ask him/her to vote YES on final passage of HB303 and SB219. 

SB165HB263, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, would protect church members from being prosecuted while defending themselves or other church members by using a firearm against an active shooter. Many believe this bill is unnecessary because “stand your ground” laws already enacted would do the same. However, this law clarifies these protections. For this reason, ALCAP supports passage of this bill. There was a public hearing on the bill this week and the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on it next week. 

A “lottery bill” has not yet been introduced, but ALCAP will send an alert if and when one is. Rep. Steve Clouse has indicated that he will be introducing a lottery bill even though Governor Ivey has formed a “Gambling Policy Study Committee” and asked that legislators wait for recommendations from that committee. (Rep. Clouse was out this past week due to the death of his mother. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.)

SB165, which passed out of committee last week, was not on the Senate calendar this week. It may be brought up on the floor of the Senate next week. (This is the “medical” cannabis/marijuana bill, sponsored by Sen. Tim Melson.) The marijuana industry has a number of lobbyists working on legislators to convince them to vote in favor of this bill, so it is important for them (especially the State Senators) to hear from YOU (their constituents)! Call, write a personal letter or at least an email and let your State Senator know of your opposition to SB165. Also, encourage others in your church to do the same. 

As always, continue to pray for God to give wisdom and courage to legislators as they address these important issues.