Session 2016- Prefilled Bills

By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director

The 2016 Regular Session has begun. After last year’s issues passing the General Fund Budget during the Regular Session, the Legislature is committed to get both the General Fund Budget and the Education Budget passed in the first half of the Regular Session. With the Budgets out of the way, the Delegation will have time to focus on their own legislation. Read below to see what some of their focuses will be this session.

Rep. Dickie Drake has one bill filed, at this time. This bill is an Education Bill is related to the instruction of handwriting requirements in schools. If passed, the bill would require schools to teach cursive handwriting to students by the third grade. This is a bill that he carried last year , but it did not get passed. Rep. Drake will also continue to focus on Military and Veterans’ Issues as he serves as Vice Chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Rep. Matt Fridy has eight bills he is currently carrying this session. The bills range from Constitutional Amendments, Attorney requirements, State Employees, Fraud, Civil Procedure, and the Code of Alabama distribution allotments to certain State Entities. The Constitutional Amendment he is championing focuses on parents’ right to direct upbringing, education, care, and custody of children. As an attorney, Rep. Fridy brings a much needed constitutional background to the Legislature.

Rep. Arnold Mooney has filed four bills so far this session. His bills focus on Healthcare issues, a Constitutional Amendment, and law enforcement employment authorization for a local church. One of the healthcare bills he is carrying this session is the Assisted Suicide Ban Act, which creates civil and criminal penalizes to a person or a healthcare provider for providing aid in an individual’s death. His other healthcare bill would allow healthcare providers the authority to decline to perform a service that violates their conscience.

Rep. Mike Hill, who is one of our most senior Delegation members, has pre-filed ten bills. His experience and leadership in the Delegation continue to make him a champion for local issues here in Shelby County, as well as, the respected Chairman of the Insurance Committee. His bills range from Insurance, to Taxation, to local legislation, to Civil Procedure, and to Uniform Commercial Code.

Rep. April Weaver, who is highly respected for her knowledge and leadership in healthcare, is carrying five bills this session. Her bills focus mostly on Healthcare issues, such as, nursing, infants, and clarifications to the Medical Examiners Board. HB45 is legislation that focuses on dignified disposition of bodily remains of infants. This would create criminal penalties for the sale or unlawful distribution of an infant’s body. She will continue to serve as the House Health Committee Chair this session.

Sen. Slade Blackwell has three pre-filed bills. These bills focus on insurance and workers compensation. One bill he is carrying is the companion to one of Rep. Hill’s bills. The bill focuses on the regulation of insurance companies and Own Risk Management Assessments (ORSA). Sen. Blackwell is serving this year as the banking and Insurance Chairman.

Sen. Jabo Waggoner has nine bills pre-filed. He is our other senior member in the Delegation and will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and as Vice Chair of the Senate Confirmations Committee. His prefilled bills range in focus from Health, Securities Commission, Taxation, and Local Legislation. Two of his taxation bills, if passed, would allow Wildlife Centers and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to be tax exempt entities. Another one of his bills would extend the tax credit for the rehabilitation of qualified structures in Alabama.

Sen. Jim McClendon, who serves as vice Chair of the Senate Health Committee, has five pre-filed bills. His legislation focuses on Health, Elections, Motor Vehicles, Health Board requirements, and a Constitutional Amendment. The Constitutional Amendment he is carrying, if passed, would allow the citizen of Alabama to vote on whether our state would have a lottery. His healthcare legislation is related to eyeglasses sales and regulations, which is an area he knows well as a retired Optometrist.

Sen. Cam Ward has filed twenty-one bills this session. His large list of legislation focuses on a variety of things, a few of which are Civil Procedure, taxation, healthcare, and crimes and offences. This will be his sixth session as Judiciary Chairman. Sen. Ward will continue this session to focus on Prison reform issues.

Rep. Jim Carns and Rep. Allen Farley do not have any bills prefilled this session. Rep. Carns is serving as the Jefferson County Delegation Chairman this session and will be serving as a member of the Children and Senior Advocacy Committee. Rep. Farley will be drawing on his experience in law enforcement as he serves as Vice Chair of the Public Safety and Homeland security Committee, as well as, serving on Judiciary.

Senator Cam WardSenator Cam Ward    Senator Slade Blackwell    Senator J. T. "JABO" WaggonerSenator J. T. "JABO" Waggoner

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Director's Update

Fall 2017- In the District

By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director

Since the 2017 Legislative Session ended back in May, our Delegation has been out and about supporting community events and schools. Shelby County cities and organizations have been busy over the past few months with farmers markets, festivals, and events to raise money for Shelby county groups. Some of the events that our Delegation members have attended and are planning to attend include: the annual CASA Roast, tours of local farms with Alabama’s Farmers’ Federation, visiting the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, Montevallo’s Bicentennial Celebration, and the Ground Breaking of the Helena Earth Kind Rose Trials. The Delegation members are also participating in many events around the county on their own, so keep an eye out for them in your area or at your local schools.  

The fall is always a great time for the Legislators to visit schools in their district. Legislators in Alabama are given access to grant money to provide community service projects in their districts. Grants are requested by local schools, libraries, and organizations that work with our public schools. The amount of money that Legislators can access each year is limited and varies depending on revenue brought in by the state.

The grants given by our Delegation members this fall have covered a variety of needs. Some of the grants impacted students and teachers in the classroom, like technology updates and funding for educational programming. Grants outside the classroom will help cover structural updates for school facilities. Some of the organizations awarded grant money for this fall provided students access to programs and community service opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to participate in. The final grants awarded each year are a joint contribution from the Delegation to the overall winners of the Shelby County Schools’ Teacher of the Year recipients. Three teachers, who are named the overall age group winners by the Shelby County Education Foundation, are awarded grant money that can be used by the winners for classroom supplies, technology, or programs.

Providing grants for projects like these and supporting events in the district is a highlight for our Delegation each year. These are a few small ways that we can give back to the communities we serve and love. 

Shelby County Legislative Delegation (C) 2013