Week 7 of the Legislative Session: A Look at What’s Ahead This Week

The Legislature returns from Spring Break on Tuesday, April 4th for the 14th legislative day. The Senate convenes at 10:00am and the House at 1:00pm. Only 16 legislative days remain in the 2017 Regular Legislative Session. By the end of this week, half of the legislative session will be over. A total of 774 bills have been introduced thus far. Annually, the Legislature’s sole responsibility is to pass a balanced budget.

Judicial Override Bill

The Judicial Override Bill is on the proposed House calendar for Tuesday for consideration on the floor by the full House. The bill would prevent judges from issuing the death penalty when a jury has recommended life incarnation as a sentence. In capital murder cases, Alabama is the only state that allows a judge to override a jury’s sentence recommendation. The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 30-1 last month.

Prison Reform

Another prison bill will be introduced in the House this week. This bill will differ greatly from the Senate approved substitute bill that passed before Spring Break. The new bill would expand county jails and use sheriffs and deputies to house and monitor prisoners and would reduce the need for construction of new prisons as well as state funding. The Senate bill would allow the state to borrow $100 million to build state prisons and would place the responsibility of building new prisons on local authorities.

General Fund Budget

The House version of the General Fund Budget that was passed before Spring Break has been sent to the Senate for approval. It has been assigned to the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

Education Trust Fund

The Senate is expected to consider the Education Trust Fund Budget that was approved by the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation. It was carried over by the Senate for further review before Spring Break.