Statewide Emergency Notification System
Act 2020-85

Sen. Bobby Singleton & Rep. Joe Lovvorn

This law allows for the creation of a Statewide Emergency Notification System, available for use by every Alabama county and municipality for warning and updating citizens on disasters. The Notification System will be funded by state dollars through the Alabama Disaster Recovery Fund, overseen by the Alabama Disaster Recovery Program Committee, and its requirements and specifications established by the collaborative efforts of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and the Recovery Program Committee. Effective March 31, 2020.

Reimbursement of County COVID-19 Expenses
Act 2020-199

Sen. Greg Albritton & Rep. Steve Clouse

This act addresses the Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars provided by Congress to the State of Alabama to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The act appropriates relief funds to the Department of Finance to be used for reimbursement of expenditures to various state agencies, local governments, healthcare institutions, the Department of Corrections and additional public entities. Specifically, this act appropriates up to $250,000,000 to be used to reimburse county and municipal governments for expenditures directly related to the coronavirus crisis. Effective May 21, 2020.

Expansion of Alabama’s Stepping Up Initiative
Act 2020-168

Sen. Greg Albritton & Rep. Steve Clouse

This act appropriates $1,829,250 of the 2020-2021 General Fund budget to the expansion of Alabama’s Stepping Up Initiative, a national initiative promoted by the National Association of Counties to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in county jails and a program administered at the state level by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. Counties and regional mental health centers are eligible for funds to implement this program at the local level in an effort to reduce recidivism in county jails for individuals with mental health conditions and to provide them with the resources for appropriate treatment. Counties participating in this program have experienced a reduction of individuals with mental illnesses in their county jail populations. Effective October 1, 2020.

Mental Health Regional Crisis Diversion Centers
Act 2020-168

Sen. Greg Albritton & Rep. Steve Clouse

This act appropriates $18,000,000 of the 2020-2021 General Fund budget to the Alabama Department of Mental Health for establishment of crisis diversion centers in various regions of the state. Due to the closing of state mental health hospitals, county jails have become the default holding facilities for individuals with mental illnesses. The establishment of regional crisis diversion centers is intended to provide individuals with mental illness proper facilities to receive stabilization, evaluation, and psychiatric and mental health services. Effective October 1, 2020.

Reauthorization of the Alabama 9-1-1 Board & Its Functions
Act 2020-67

Sen. Clyde Chambliss

An Alabama sunset law, this act authorizes the Alabama 9-1-1 Board and its functions to continue until October 1, 2024. Under this law, the State 9-1-1 Board remains subject to evaluation and review by the Alabama Legislature. Continuation of the 9-1-1 Board is required to be considered by state legislators every four years. Effective March 30, 2020.

Retirement Systems of Alabama Governance

The current appointment of members to the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) Board of Control does not adequately reflect the local employing agencies of participating members in the system. The Association proposes to amend the statute governing the appointment of members to more closely reflect the employing agencies of the participating members by adding one county-elected board position and one additional at-large local position to the RSA Board of Control.

Inmate Reform

The 2015 Alabama Prison Reform Act made sweeping changes to the Alabama Criminal Justice System, including the creation of the Class D felony, and created new sanctions for parole and probation violations. These changes resulted in a 250-percent increase in State inmates being diverted to county jails and more than $60 million dollars in increased spending on jail operations and law enforcement. The Association proposes to repeal the 2015 Prison Reform Act sanction provisions that require counties to hold inmates who are awaiting transfer to State custody for the 45-day period of incarceration for probation or parole violations.

Rebuild Alabama Advertising Bidding Requirements

The Rebuild Alabama Act requires that all project bid announcements using Rebuild Alabama revenue be posted on a single website hosted by the Association for availability to potential bidders. Counties are required to post electronic bid announcements and use traditional advertising if projects use any additional funding source to complete Rebuild Alabama projects. The Association proposes to amend current law to allow for all local road and bridge projects to utilize the bid advertisement procedures adopted in the Rebuild Alabama Act.

Ethics Law Revolving Door Provision

The Association proposes to amend the revolving door provision of the Ethics Law to repeal the two-year prohibition on the rehiring of public employees and officials by former employers or other public employers and to repeal the prohibition on representing an employer before any board, agency, commission, department, or legislative body in his or her official capacity by those public employees. If enacted into law, this vital piece of legislation would allow counties to attract qualified and experienced employees.

Election Expense Reimbursement

In 2017, legislation was enacted to allow for the use of electronic poll books in federal, state and local elections. Further, an administrative rule promulgated certain conditions for which counties could seek reimbursement for the purchasing of electronic poll books. The Association proposes to amend the current election reimbursement statute to codify that electronic poll books and related software are eligible items for election expense reimbursement by the State of Alabama.

Public Shelters and Safer Places

Alabama has experienced a high volume of natural disasters over the past decade. It is imperative that state and local leaders take an active role to ensure the safety of the citizens of Alabama. It is vital that citizens have access to buildings and shelters in times of impending disasters and that public and private entities willing to provide access to these facilities be able to do so. The Association proposes to amend current law to provide specific liability protection for those entities opening buildings or shelters to the public in times of impending disaster events.

County Boards of Equalization

For several years, local entities have struggled to make recommendations to the Alabama Department of Revenue for the appointment of individuals to serve on the County Boards of Equalization. The Association supports legislation to update the process for appointing and compensating members of the County Boards of Equalization to ensure the efficient operation of the tax appeal process by attracting qualified persons to serve in this important role.