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What’s on tap – February 22, 2022

The 2022 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature will hit its halfway point this week and significant legislation is moving.

Today is legislative day 13 out of 30. Expect three legislative days this week, as has been the pattern of late.

Here’s a bit of what’s on tap:

  • There’s no special order calendar in the House yet, but Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, last week said that chamber could take up both the anti-riot and concealed carry permit bills on the same day this week. 
  • House Bill 2 from Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Birmingham, would narrow the definition of a riot and increase the penalties for participating in one. The bill defines a riot as “the assemblage of five or more persons engaging in conduct which creates an immediate danger of and/or results in damage to property or injury to persons.”
  • The concealed carry bill, House Bill 272,  would allow people to carry a handgun in their purse or covered on their bodies without the permit that’s currently required. It would also do away with the requirement for a permit to have a handgun in a vehicle.  The permits, which are distributed by county sheriffs for a fee, would still be available.
  • Both the permit and riot bills are vehemently opposed by Democrats who will most certainly filibuster as long as they can to keep the bills from passing the House. That can lead to long and tedious days on the House floor, which is frustrating for members interested in getting more pragmatic business done.
  • What remains to be seen is whether or not the Republican supermajority will cloture, or vote to shut down debate, on either bill. The concealed carry bill is one of the House GOP majority’s priority bills for this session, so that could give leaders the justification to cloture.

On Wednesday, the 2023 General Fund budget is expected to get its first vote in Sen. Greg Albritton’s committee. That should have it read for a floor vote on Thursday.

Gov. Kay Ivey sent lawmakers a proposed $2.7 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, a $300 million increase over this year. Per usual, expect a few changes from lawmakers.

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