March 27, 2015
This week the Alabama Legislature did not meet due to Legislative Spring Break. They will return next week on Tuesday, March 31, where they are expected to meet for the 9th and 10th legislative days.
The House is scheduled to convene Tuesday at 1:00pm and the Senate is scheduled to convene at 2:00pm.
Senate Scheduled To Take Up Prison ReformAnd Accountability Act
The Alabama Senate is expected to call back the bill that would make changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, SB71 by Senator Marsh, after it was carried over last week so that the sponsor could continue to work out details with those opposed to the bill. That bill would most likely be dealt with on Tuesday.
They are also expected to take up the sweeping prison reform legislation championed by Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) on Thursday. SB67 was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 17 by a unanimous vote of the committee. The legislation is aimed at diverting low-level property and drug offenders away from prison. They would instead be steered toward community corrections programs. Probation officers would also see an increase in funding to hire 100 new officers, which would cut the current probation officers caseloads in half. The estimated annual cost of the reforms is $23 million according to Senator Ward.
All Of Governor Bentley’s Tax Bills Introduced In The House
At the beginning of the legislative session, Governor Robert Bentley outlined his plan to raise $541 million to help fill the budget shortfall. The Governor proposed eight different pieces of legislation to raise revenue for the General Fund, and as of last week all of the bills had been introduced.