CNN Week 9 – Republican Agenda Bills, Gambling and Spring Break
March 21, 2022
The Legislature used two legislative days and held a committee day on Wednesday last week, the ninth week of the 2022 regular session. New bill filings continue to decrease as the end of the session nears. After the ninth week, updated bill totals are 518 in the House with 27 new bills filed last week and 328 in the Senate with 19 filed last week. The likelihood of passage for these newly filed bills and any filed in following weeks is low as time runs out.
Both chambers spent considerable time on Republican agenda bills. The House advanced multiple election bills and a ban on the teaching and training of “divisive concepts” in classrooms. The Senate passed a bill to allow county funding of charter schools, after proponents added an amendment requested by opponents.
The House passed the General Fund budget, but due to amendments made in that chamber, the bill moved back to the Senate which voted to send the bill to a conference committee. Members from both chambers will now meet to discuss differences and reach a compromise. The Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget awaits consideration by a Senate committee after passing the House several weeks ago.
The House and Senate now have different gambling proposals pending before each body. Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) proposed a more expansive package, with a lottery, casinos, and sports betting. That bill did not come before the full Senate last week, as was expected. Representative Chris Brown (R-Hollinger’s Island) proposed a much narrower package, primarily allowing only a state lottery. That bill passed a House committee last week and awaits consideration by the full House. With the limited number of days remaining, both sets of bills have a long shot of making it to the Governor.
Business Privilege Tax Reduction Bills Await Final Step
Companion bills in the House and Senate that will reduce a state business privilege tax await final passage in the second chamber. HB 391 and SB 390 would reduce the minimum tax paid from $100 to $50 for 2023 and to $0 for all future years. This will affect corporations, limited liability companies, and disregarded entities that make less than $80,000 in taxable revenue. Both bills passed out of committee in the second chamber last week. You can find out more information on these bills by reading CNN Week Eight here.
The Legislature is taking a break this week and will reconvene on Tuesday, March 29. With only seven legislative days remaining, the Legislature’s main job will be to pass the budgets. Thank you to all who have responded to our Call for Action on HB 171, the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account renewal bill. We hope to see the bill in Senate committee when the Legislature reconvenes.