Logging legislation: Negotiators succeed
Representatives from ACCA and the Alabama Forestry Association reached an agreement Friday afternoon on the logging notification bills (HB 538 Mark Tuggle and SB 409 Tom Whatley) that AFA allies had introduced last week. The compromise reached preserves county authority to protect the condition of county roads and the traveling public. It also creates a uniform statewide notification system that will simplify operations for the industry while providing counties with needed information. Both versions are scheduled for committee votes Wednesday afternoon.
Urge the committees to SUPPORT the ACCA-backed changes to these bills.
The Senate version is scheduled for a vote in the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The House version is scheduled for a vote in the Commerce and Small Business Committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Better enforcement of property taxes, and
excess at tax sales
Two ACCA bills are expected to be considered when the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee meets Wednesday morning. HB 120 by Jack Williams would prevent abuses of existing property tax exemptions for people who are disabled or 65 or older as well as increase the exemption from $7,500 to $12,000 for state taxes. (Get the FACT SHEET) In the Senate, the bill is being handled by Priscilla Dunn.
The panel is also expected to take up Cam Ward’s SB 177, which would clarify who is entitled to the excess after a property is sold for taxes. The committee is expected to adopt a substitute version of the bill to match the current version in the House (HB 177 Steve Clouse). (Get the FACT SHEET)
Encourage the committee to give favorable reports to HB 120 and SB 177.
Local constitutional amendments
Linda Coleman’s SB 372 proposes a constitutional amendment to make it harder to force a statewide vote on local constitutional amendments. (Get the FACT SHEET) The bill is scheduled to come up for a vote when the Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee meets Wednesday afternoon.
Urge the committee to approve SB 372.
Road and bridge funding
Steve Clouse’s HB 543 would increase the portion of petroleum fees and penalties allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Industries from 5 to 10 percent. The department’s cut comes off the top before the remainder is divided among cities, counties and the Alabama Department of Transportation. The bill would reduce county road and bridge revenue at a time when counties are struggling to make needed road repairs while also looking for matching funds for the new ATRIP initiative. The bill is scheduled for a vote Wednesday afternoon in the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.
Urge the committee to oppose HB 543.
House Ways and Means General Fund Committee: Barton, chair; Clouse, vice chair; Laird, ranking minority member; Coleman, Gaston, Greer, Hall, Ken Johnson, Knight, Long, McCutcheon, Millican, Charles Newton, Thomas, Wren.
Severance tax on sand and gravel
ACCA’s priority bill (SB 322 Gerald Allen) dealing with the severance tax on sand and gravel is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The Association continues to work with industry toward mutually agreed-upon language, and it is hoped that the bill will be in a format to pass out of committee tomorrow.
Urge the committee to support language agreed to by the counties.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider HB 105 by Paul DeMarco at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It is expected that the committee will adopt a substitute version of the bill containing ACCA’s language.
Encourage the committee to only approve a substitute containing ACCA’s changes.
House Judiciary Committee: DeMarco, chair; Sanderford, vice chair; McClammy, ranking minority member; Beckman, Ball, Farley, Burdine, England, Givan, Greeson, Wayne Johnson, Jones, Poole, John Robinson, Treadaway.