Several bills headed to the Governor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2001

The Alabama Legislature is approaching its halfway point and each body has passed several significant pieces of legislation even though they have not yet reached the Governor's desk for his signature.

I thought I would briefly review some of these bills with you.

Consumer Identity Protection Act (Senate Bill 144) – Identity theft is not a crime under Alabama law.

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That means if someone steals your identity and destroys your credit, you are not considered a victim in Alabama.

This bill creates the crimes of identity theft, trafficking in stolen items, and obstructing justice using a false identity.

This legislation also provides victims of identity theft with a civil action for damages and with a remedy so

they can clear their credit history of false information.

It has passed the Senate and is pending in the House of Representatives.

School Violence Prevention Act (Senate Bill 219) – In Alabama and across the nation, there is growing concern about the violence our children face at school.

Currently Alabama youthful offender laws harbor records of students with violent criminal backgrounds.

This legislation allows school officials to receive information about students with criminal backgrounds.

Such information will not be made public but will be provided to school officials who can then better monitor students who have a record of violent criminal behavior.

This bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the House of Representatives.

Business Redevelopment Act (Senate Bill 5) – Too many Alabamians have seen businesses and manufacturing plants built in their communities only to have them relocate or close due to economic reasons.

Unfortunately, redevelopment and reuse of those existing facilities is hampered due to concerns by new business prospects about liability problems that may exist.

This bill creates a voluntary cleanup or Brownfields program and will make Alabama communities more competitive.

This bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the House of Representatives.

Gun Reciprocity Act (Senate Bill 122) – Alabama law does not presently recognize valid handgun licenses issued in another state.

This legislation provides for recognition of valid gun licenses issued in other states so long as those states provide the same recognition for valid handgun licenses issued in Alabama.

This bill has passed the Senate and is pending in the House of Representatives.

Voter Identification Bill (House Bill 19) – This bill requires a person who is casting a ballot in a primary or general election in Alabama to show some evidence at the polls that they are the voter who is registered and voting at that time.

This bill has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate.

Lethal Injection Bill (House Bill 121) – This bill would allow lethal injection as an alternative death penalty punishment in Alabama.

The bill has received a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee and is pending on the House of Representatives calendar for consideration.

General Fund Budgets (House Bill 325 and Senate Bill 343) – The General Fund Budget bills, which fund all operations of State government except public education, are pending in their respective chambers awaiting a vote which should be taken within the next two weeks.

Education Budget (House Bill 307 and Senate Bill 117) – The Education Budget bills are in the same status as the General Fund Budget bills.

If I have not mentioned a bill in which you have an interest and you know that bill is pending in the Alabama Legislature, please drop me a note or call me and I will be glad to report on that bill in a future column or give you an individual reply.

The legislature is out of session this entire week for Spring Break and will reconvene on Tuesday, April 3.

Remember, "I'll go with you or I'll for you" to help you solve any problem related to state government.

You can reach me by telephone at 334-242-7883, or by mail at Room 735, Alabama State House, 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36130 or P O Box 225, Luverne, Ala. 36049.