Legislators make final push to pass bills before session ends

Published 5:53 pm Friday, May 3, 2013

With only days left in the Alabama Legislature’s current session, lawmakers representing Chilton County are busy making final pushes to see their bills through.

Perhaps the bill of most interest locally is one that would generate $30,000 in additional revenue for the Chilton County Humane Society.

The Chilton County Commission passed a resolution in support of the measure, which would add 25 cents onto the county’s data processing fee charged for issuing items including marriage licenses, pistol permits and deeds.

The Legislature would have to vote in favor of the increase.

State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) said Friday that the bill should be passed before the Legislature’s current session ends.

“I feel good about that being passed,” Ward said.

Rep. Kurt Wallace (R-Maplesville) sponsored a bill to require barbers in the state to be subjected to the same certification process as cosmetologists.

The bill was scheduled for a vote by the House of Representatives on Thursday, but debate over a controversial gun rights bill caused delays.

Wallace said he didn’t propose the law to raise money through certification fees but rather to protect customers.

“If you walk into a professional business and put your hard-earned money down, you expect them to know what they’re doing,” Wallace said. “The public needs to know what they’re paying for.”

Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), meanwhile, passed a bill viewed as necessary to recruit suppliers for the new Airbus facility in Mobile.

The bill sets a time limit on legal liability for commercial aircraft manufacturers for defects that could lead to lawsuits.

Bentley signed the bill into law on April 4.

Ward sponsored several other bills that should be coming to a final vote soon, he said. Senate Bill 29 gives law enforcement more tools to protect seniors from physical and financial abuse. The bill is in line for final passage next week, Ward said.

Ward sponsored a bill to create the state Office of Fleet Management in hopes such an agency could save money.

The senator was also involved with a set of bills aimed at fighting prescription drug abuse. Ward said the bills crack down on fraudulent prescriptions and “doctor shopping,” when people visit several different doctors in an effort to obtain the same medication.