Road and bridge funding
The legislation that would reduce county road and bridge revenue by shifting proceeds of the two-cent statewide inspection fee (HB 543 Steve Clouse) is on the House work agenda Tuesday. While counties struggle to make plans for adequate matching funds for the new ATRIP program, any reduction in revenue will negatively impact the condition of roads and bridges in Alabama. The bill would also reduce funding to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
County officials are urged to contact their House members to ask that they oppose Steve Clouse’s HB 543, including voting against all procedural motions on this legislation.
Also on the House work agenda Tuesday is another attempt to patch up the state General Fund budget at the expense of counties. Jim Barton’s HB 608 would have permanently diverted proceeds of the scrap tire environmental fee to the state General Fund, but the committee put a two-year time limit on the diversion. It is expected that the sponsor will attempt to strip the committee amendment when the bill comes up on the House floor.
Urge House members to SUPPORT the committee amendment to HB 608.
Local tax collections
An amendment to Slade Blackwell’s SB 459 threatens county sales and use tax collection as it expands an agreed-upon bill into taxes not included in the negotiations on this legislation. The inclusion of additional taxes in this statewide collection process could also result in the further expansion of this program as the bill moves through the legislative process.
Please encourage your Senate members to vote “Nay” on the committee amendment to SB 459 and to OPPOSE other amendments on the floor. If the amendment is defeated, counties will not be opposed to the legislation.
Severance tax on sand, gravel, etc.
ACCA has reached agreement with the industry representatives on changes to this tax, and the big goal of getting information from the Department of Revenue so counties can improve enforcement has been met. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will need to adopt a substitute version of the bill (SB 322 Gerald Allen) when it meets Tuesday afternoon, and this memo from Sonny Brasfield explains the changes.
Ask the committee to SUPPORT SB 322.
Paul Sanford’s SB 236 is an ACCA bill that would clear up when county subdivision regulations apply in unincorporated areas that fall within the jurisdiction of a municipal planning commission. (Get the FACT SHEET) The House County and Municipal Government Committee is scheduled to vote on it Wednesday afternoon, and the committee has already approved the House version of the bill. A favorable vote Wednesday would put this bill in excellent position for final passage in the next few weeks.
Encourage the committee to SUPPORT SB 236.
Election expense reimbursement
Randy Wood’s HB 319 is on the agenda when the Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee meets next week. The bill would clear up constitutional concerns about a 2011 law amending the list of reimbursable election expenses, and this committee previously gave a favorable report to the Senate version of this proposal.
Urge the committee to SUPPORT HB 319.
Local constitutional amendments
Linda Coleman’s SB 372 proposes a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to force a statewide vote on local constitutional amendments. (Get the FACT SHEET ) It is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee Wednesday afternoon.
Urge the committee to SUPPORT SB 372, which would strengthen the local voice on purely local issues while still providing for statewide votes on hot-button proposals.