ACCA Bills That Have Become Law

  • Published: June 22, 2015
  • 2015 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature

    Final Legislative Report 2015 | ACCA Bills 
    New Laws Impacting Counties | Bills that Did NOT Become Law | Local Bills

    County Modernization
    Act No. 2015-53 (SB 96 by Sen. Clyde Chambliss and Rep. Richard Lindsey)

    This act modernizes the administration of county government by revising several outdated sections of Alabama law, and clarifying existing language related to counties. Specifically, this act does the following:

    1. Allows counties general authority to contract with municipalities,
    2. Clarifies Alabama’s law related to county commissioner conflicts of interest,
    3. Authorizes counties to create a self-funded property insurance program,
    4. Clarifies bonding requirements for 9-1-1 Board members and employees, and
    5. Prevents the annexing of county-maintained roads along emergency evacuation routes.

    The Board of Trustees of the ACCA Liability Self-Insurance Program is already actively engaged in the steps necessary to provide property insurance to counties and county-entities as authorized in this act. More details will be available at the ACCA Convention.

    Many thanks to Sen. Chambliss and Rep. Lindsey for their leadership on this bill! This act will go into effect on July 1, 2015.


    County Decision-Making
    Act No. 2015-220 (HB 193 by Rep. Randy Davis and Sen. Del Marsh)

    This act is a proposed constitutional amendment that would give county government limited decision-making authority to carry out management and administrative activities without the need for the passage of future local laws. Specifically, it would provide county commissions the ability to carry out management and administrative activities in the following areas:

    1. County personnel programs, policies, and procedures,
    2. Community programs for litter-free roadways, public facilities, and public property,
    3. Public transportation,
    4. Operation of county offices, and
    5. Emergency assistance programs.

    This act would not supersede general or local laws, and the county commission cannot use these powers to change the salary of other elected officials, or in any way alter or interfere with the duties of other elected officials.

    Much appreciation to Rep. Davis and Sen. Marsh for their commitment to this issue! As a constitutional amendment, this measure must be approved by the voters of Alabama.  It is expected to appear on the statewide ballot in either March or November of 2016.


    Local Constitutional Amendments
    Act No. 2015-44 (SB 30 by Sen. Linda Coleman and Rep. Rod Scott)

    This act creates a two-step process for passing local constitutional amendments that would make it more likely that proposed local constitutional amendments would not face a statewide referendum. Currently, if a constitutional amendment applying to only one county receives a single dissenting vote in the legislature, it is subject to a statewide vote—often creating a situations where voters outside a county effectively trump the voice of citizens within the affected county. The two-step process proposed by this act sets up a separate vote in both the House and Senate on the question of whether the proposed amendment will face “local only” or a statewide referendum. In addition, should the amendment be subject to a statewide referendum, the measure would automatically fail if local voters failed to provide approval.

    Many thanks to Sen. Coleman and Rep. Scott for getting an early start on this important constitutional reform measure! Sen. Coleman has championed this issue for the last decade. This measure would not have passed without her long-term dedication to this issue! This act must receive a favorable vote by the citizens of Alabama in order to go into effect. This measure is expected to be on the statewide ballot in either March or November of 2016.


    Local Bidder Preference
    Act No. 2015-293 (HB 264 by Rep. Steve McMillan)

    This permissive act increases the existing local preference for those companies within the county from three percent to five percent—now allowing counties to award contracts to local companies that are within five percent of lowest responsible bidder.  This preference will apply to purchases of personal property and services.

    It also authorizes counties to use in-state companies owned by identified disadvantaged businesses if their bids are no more than 10 percent higher than the lowest bidder in cases when the lowest bidder is from outside the state of Alabama.

    Much appreciation to Rep. Steve McMillan for working to pass this bill to provide counties additional opportunities to do business with local vendors! Appreciation is also extended to Sen. Quinton Ross for getting the bill in position to pass in the Senate and to Sen. Greg Albritton for handling the bill on the Senate floor.  This act will go into effect on August 1, 2015.


    Illegal Drag-Racing
    Act No. 2015-318 (SB 321 by Sen. Bobby Singleton and Rep. AJ McCampbell)

    This act increases the penalties faced by illegal drag-racers, race organizers, and spectators if convicted of the offense. It also includes provisions for impounding a vehicle that has been involved in illegal drag-racing activities. The following penalties are imposed on persons convicted of illegal drag-racing under this act:

    • For the first conviction: A fine of $500.00 and up to 90 days suspended sentence substituted with 30 days probation;
    • For the second conviction: A fine of $3,000.00 and up to six months suspended sentence substituted with six months probation;
    • For the third, and any subsequent conviction: A fine of $6,000.00 and up to 1 year suspended sentence, substituted with 1 year probation.

    Many thanks to Sen. Singleton and Rep. McCampbell for their commitment to this important public safety measure. Special appreciation to Rep. Chris England, who handled the bill on the House floor. This act went into immediate effect when it was signed by Governor Bentley on June 3, 2015.


    Simplified Sellers Use Tax Remittance
    Act No. 2015-448 (SB 437 by Sen. Trip Pittman and Rep. Rod Scott)

    This act is designed to entice those out-of-state retailers (primarily internet-based companies) to voluntarily collect a substitute sales tax of eight percent on all items delivered into the state.  By agreeing to collect the tax, the businesses will be subject to requirements established by the act but will also be granted advantages in Alabama should a federal law be enacted requiring the collection of the exact sales tax due in every jurisdiction in Alabama.

    One-half of the substitute eight-percent tax will be distributed to the state, with counties and cities each receiving two percent. The county portion will be allocated to each county based on the county’s population.

    The collection and remittance of the use tax will relieve both the seller and purchaser from the application of all state and local sales and use taxes on transactions. From participating in the program, eligible sellers will be offered several protections, including protection from audits by local governments based on this remittance, and assurance that use of the new system will not trigger any additional taxes or fees.

    Much appreciation to Sen. Pittman and Rep. Scott for ensuring this bill made its way through the legislative process at the tail-end of the legislative session!
    This act will go into effect on October 1, 2015.