Tebow Act among bills Erwin will reintroduce to Legislature

Published 8:36 pm Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sen. Hank Erwin (R-Montevallo) has entered a number of bills in the 2009 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature, most of which are returning legislation.

One of the most publicized is the Tim Tebow Act that would allow home-schooled students to participate in public high school athletics.

The proposed act’s name comes from the Florida Gators quarterback who was home schooled but did extremely well in high school sports.

“Florida’s doing it real well as a whole, so I think Alabama could do it just as well,” Erwin said. “There could very well be a dormant Tim Tebow in Alabama. We don’t want to deny a kid like that the opportunity to play just because he’s in the home school program.”

The act’s opponents argue that it’s unfair to extend the same opportunities to home-schooled students because there is no way to measure them by the same academic standard as their public school counterparts.

Another Erwin bill would outlaw the herb salvia, which is becoming known as the “marijuana of the 21st century,” the senator said.

“Salvia is legal to buy or sell in Southside Birmingham,” he continued. “You can sell it to a 10-year-old, and he can smoke it just like marijuana.”

The herb, largely traced to Mexico, is being highly promoted on YouTube and is quickly gaining a cult following.

“I want to be proactive and stop it before it gets deeply rooted in our society,” Erwin said.

Yet another bill would prohibit the employment of minors at adult entertainment establishments.

Erwin said many are unaware that a teenager can work in a strip club if his or her guardian is with them.

“I think that’s just deplorable,” he said. “My bill just says if you’re going to be in an adult place, you need to be of adult age.”

Other bills sponsored by Erwin include but are not limited to:

SB-34 would require identification numbers to be printed on beer kegs and would require the registration of the buyer.

SB-35 would allow the suspension of students’ driver’s licenses for disruptive behavior in the classroom resulting in suspension or expulsion from school. The measure would be based on the recommendation of school principals and makes provisions for hearing procedures.

SB-36 would outlaw the possession of alcohol without liquid machines (AWOL) or similar alcohol vaporizing machines.

SB-39 would prohibit sex offenders from residing in the county where they were convicted or where the offense occurred.

SB-40 would impose a waiting period for final judgment of divorce in cases that involve minor children.

SB-310 would prohibit college and university professors from carrying firearms on campus.

– Scott Mims can be reached at scott.mims@clantonadvertiser.com.