What’s on tap – Thursday, April 8

What’s on tap – Thursday, April 8

It’s another busy day at the State House. Here’s some of the expected bills in the House today, the 21st legislative day.

Concealed carry permit

Senate Bill 308 by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, creates a lifetime concealed carry permit and requires the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to develop a statewide firearm prohibited person database.

The fee for a lifetime concealed carry permit would be $300 or $150 for applicants older than 60.

The bill also requires each sheriff to prepare annual reports on the number of permits issued and renewed, and a detailed accounting of the fees collected and distributed.

Rep. Proncey Robertson, R-Mt. Hope, carries the House version of the bill. Robertson said the public wants an alternative to yearly or five-year permits allowed now.

Robertson, a retired Decatur Police Department officer, stressed that his legislation does not create any sort of registry for permit holders and all data is to be kept at the local level.

Break on businesses’ tax credit hiring requirements

Senate Bill 274 from Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, creates the COVID-19 Recovery Capital Credit Protection Act of 2021, providing an extension to the employment and wage requirements for a qualifying project placed into service during 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Initial wage and employment requirements will be extended up to two years for projects “that have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the bill says.

Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, sponsored the House version of the bill.

Police jurisdictions

Senate Bill 107 would halt the growth of municipalities’ police jurisdictions.

Cities that currently regulate building construction within their police jurisdiction may continue to do so under the bill until county government takes over building code enforcement unless the county and city reach an alternative agreement.

The bill also reduces cities’ planning jurisdictions, some of which are now 5 miles, to 3 or 1.5 miles. By 2023, all planning jurisdictions would be 1.5 miles.

The bill from Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Daphne, was amended in a House committee and must go back to the Senate for another vote.

School closures

House Bill 447 by Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville,  allows school superintendents to close their schools and establish online instruction in lieu of in-person class for up to 10 consecutive days. Continued closure would require approval of the board.

Currently, a superintendent alone can close a system to in-person classes for an extended period of time.

Kiel’s bill is in response to the November closure of Colbert County Schools for several weeks by the then-superintendent.

“We’ve always known that the superintendent could call off schools for emergencies, for instance if there’s an ice storm or a tornado, or some kind of other natural disaster, we knew that the superintendent had that power,” Kiel told Alabama Daily News in January. “But I don’t think anybody ever anticipated that the superintendent would be able to call off school or close facilities for an extended amount of time without someone’s approval or without working with someone else.”

Night hunting feral hogs, coyotes

Senate Bill 264 would allow for nighttime hunting of feral hogs and coyotes on private and leased land. The bill from Sen. Donnie Chesteen, R-Geneva, specifies that a specific license for the night hunts are required.

Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens, sponsored the House version of the bill. Advocates have said the feral hog population in the state is nearly out of control and devastates row crops.