Capitol News & Notes: Week Eight
April 6, 2021
Last week, the Legislature resumed session after spring break. The Legislature used two legislative days on Tuesday and Thursday, and Wednesday was a committee day. They have completed 18 of 30 possible session days. As of today, April 6, the House has introduced 591 bills, and the Senate has introduced 383 bills.
Bills of Interest
REALTOR®-Sponsored Remote Ink Notarization Bill Passed House Committee - SB275, sponsored by Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville), would allow for remote ink notarization. This bill was heard by the House State Government Committee on Wednesday. Sen. Givhan presented the bill and added an amendment that made the penalty for notaries intentionally violating the section a class C misdemeanor. The amendment was adopted, and the bill received a favorable report. Rep. Andy Whitt (R-Harvest) will carry the bill in the House. Thank you, Sen. Givhan and Rep. Whitt, for your hard work on this issue!
Tax Sales Bill to Governor’s Desk - SB111, sponsored by Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison), would allow tax sales to occur on the premises of or within the courthouse or courthouse annex of the county, instead of requiring the sale in front of the courthouse door. Alabama REALTORS® supports this legislative fix to tax sales due to past strict judicial interpretation of this statute. On Thursday, the bill was passed out of the House with a 97-0 vote, and it is headed to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for her signature.
Essential Business Designation Bill Awaiting Signature - HB103, sponsored by Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville), provides that any business or religious institution may continue to stay open during a state of emergency if they comply with applicable emergency orders. This would effectively end the “essential” v. “non-essential” business designations that we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, the Senate passed the bill with a 23-4 vote, and it now moves to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk.
Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act Bill Moves to Senate - HB457, sponsored by Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile), would expand the Alabama Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act to require recordation of satisfaction to include mortgages securing commercial agricultural properties. Last Tuesday, the bill passed the House with a 96-0 vote. The bill received its first reading in the Senate and is awaiting committee action in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee.
A Look Ahead
This week, the Legislature is expected to use three legislative days, as we saw earlier in the session. The House reconvened at 1 p.m., and the Senate reconvened at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.