Although the winter weather threw a wrench into the schedule for the Alabama Legislature this week, some bills did see movement this week. Here are our major highlights:
- SB84, which defines racial profiling, prohibits a law enforcement officer from engaging in racial profiling, and would provide for statistical reporting on the prevalence of the issue, has been approved by the Senate and is now headed to the House for review. This bill will go to the House of Representatives' Judiciary committee to start the process in the second chamber.
- SB13, which eliminates the requirement for marriage licenses, also made it out of the Senate and will be headed to the House of Representatives' Judiciary committee for review. We remain neutral on this bill as the bill does not target or single out same sex couples.
- SB31, which would remove cash bail requirements in municipal courts under certain circumstances, passed out of the Judiciary committee and is now headed to the Senate, although it is likely to be amended before it goes onto the Senate floor.
On Wednesday, January 24th at 1:30 pm, the Judiciary Committee will have a public hearing regarding HB94, a bill allowing the government to charge protesters with a Class B Felony. The charge could come if 1) someone attempts to prevent or prevents speech (imagine yelling loudly from across the street) and 2) there is an accompanying unlawful act (could be trespassing, littering, jaywalking, harassment, public nuisance etc.). We are concerned about the broad language of this bill, increased penalties for minor infractions, and the possibility of selective enforcement.