2013 Legislative Session Wrapup
The 2013 legislative session is over. There were 1,176 total pieces of legislation introduced in the 2013 Legislative Session. Some of these bills were introduced in both the House and Senate: what they refer to as “companion” bills. There were a total of 170 pairs of bills that had companions in the House and Senate. Some bills even had a companion in their own house, meaning that two identical bills were introduced into either the House or the Senate.
Of the 105 bills introduced having to do with K-12 public education, 20 became law. Of those same 105, there were 16 companion bills introduced into both the House and Senate, which means 89 original bills were introduced.
The 20 bills that became law are listed in the table below. Click the link to view each Act in its final version:
|Original Bill||Description||Link to Final Version and Act Number|
|HB1||Caylee's Law. This law provides for the crime of failure to report a missing child in the first degree classified as a Class C felony and failure to report a missing child in the second degree classified as a Class A misdemeanor.||Enacted 2013-367|
|HB84 (companion SB54)||Started as Local Control School Flexibility Act, became the Alabama Accountability Act. For more detail on the AAA, check out the 4-part series I posted last week.||Enacted 2013-64|
|HB91||Sets requirements for schools to hold Code Red safety drills.||Enacted 2013-329|
|HB94||Sets requirements for repaying monies borrowed from a trust fund.||Enacted 2013-6|
|HB102||The 21st Century Workforce Act; Provides for the sale of up to $50 million in bonds to be used by local boards of education to improve career and technical education.||Enacted 2013-381|
|HB105||The Charles "Chuck" Poland, Jr. Act. Establishes the crime of trespass on a school bus and makes it a Class “A” misdemeanor to trespass on a school bus. Such offenses include a punishment of up to a year in jail. Click here to read the press release issued by the ALSDE.||Enacted 2013-347|
|HB166 (companion SB137)||This is the Education Trust Fund budget. Click here to view the final spreadsheet version.||Enacted 2013-264|
|HB301 (companion SB304)||Adds persons required to report suspected child abuse and provides for an employer who penalizes an employee for reporting suspected abuse to be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.||Enacted 2013-201|
|HB404 (companion SB310)||This bill would authorize the systems within Franklin County to implement the use of voluntary emergency school security forces, including the ability for that force to carry weapons. The Governor vetoed this bill, but the legislature overrode his veto.||Enacted 2013-268|
|HB498||Changes Crenshaw County superintendent from elected to appointed by the county board of education.||Enacted 2013-362|
|HB505||To provide for additional appropriations from the FY13 ETF to certain agencies, including the School of Mathematics and Science and the School of Fine Arts.||Enacted 2013-214|
|HB506||To provide for a 2% pay increase on the State Minimum Salary Schedule; to create an education employee liability insurance program in collaboration with the State Department of Education, to be administered by the Department of Finance||Enacted 2013-215|
|HB517||Provides for the sale of $30 million in bonds to repair tornado-damaged schools. Click here to read the al.com article.||Enacted 2013-345|
|HB600||Etowah Co., school resource officers, retired law enforcement officers allowed to serve on part-time basis, part-time reserve school resource officers to be certified by Alabama Peace Officers' Standards and Training Commission.||Enacted 2013-425|
|HB658 (companion list as HB655)||Amends Accountability Act to say that no school shall be forced to enroll a student who has left a failing school and changes some of the details. For more detail on the AAA, check out the 4-part series I posted last week.||Enacted 2013-265|
|HB662||This bill revised the qualifications for membership on the Tuscaloosa City board of education and conforms local law with the applicable general law governing the operation of a city board of education relating to compensation, audits, and meetings of the board.||Enacted 2013-437|
|HB669 (companion SB466)||Changes Cullman County superintendent from elected to appointed by county board of education.||Enacted 2013-439|
|SB60 (companion HB427)||Educational Accountability and Intervention Act, specifying procedure and authority for State Board of Education to intervene and exercise direct control over decision making and operational functions of local boards of education. For more info, click the link to Montgomery Advertiser article.||Enrolled|
|SB138 (companion HB170)||This transfers $10,800,000 from the Education Trust Fund to the Department of Commerce for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013 for Workforce Development in the Industrial Development Training Institute Program. This will also transfer $5,264,915 from the Education Trust Fund to the Department of Veterans' Affairs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, for the Student Financial Aid Program.||Enacted 2013-69|
|SB383||Authorizes a local board of education to employ persons as school security personnel or school resource officers and would allow such persons employed as school security personnel or school resource officers, with certain qualifications, to carry firearms while on duty.||Enacted 2013-288|
There are a number of new laws that will impact our children, including the AAA (which I wrote about extensively last week) and the Educational Intervention and Accountability Act, which will allow the SBOE and ALSDE to intervene in local school systems when needed. Check out this article from the Montgomery Advertiser and these comments from State Superintendent Bice and the SBOE at last week’s work session on the Intervention Act. These two laws together allow for flexibility in programming and budgeting by local school systems, school choice for those attending “failing” schools, and quicker action by the SBOE when schools are struggling to properly educate children.
The $50 million Career Tech bond issue should prove to enhance career and technical education offerings in the state by investing in up-to-date training equipment and . Details are evolving as to how it will be distributed and utilized. Here’s an article from al.com about the bond issue.
A few bills relating to School Safety passed, including HB91, which requires Code Red drills to be held along with other weather- and fire-related drills and requires school districts to develop and annually review their comprehensive safety plan. HB404, a local bill pertaining only to Franklin County, survived a Governor’s veto and allows Franklin County school officials to train and equip a volunteer emergency security force for their schools.
Etowah County also gained the ability through HB600 allow retired law enforcement officers to serve as school resource officers on a part-time basis.
The Charles “Chuck” Poland, Jr. Act makes it a crime to trespass on a school bus. The Act is named in honor of the Dale County bus driver who was fatally shot after an intruder boarded the bus he was driving and demanded Poland hand over children to be used as hostages. Poland refused and was killed.
SB383 authorizes all local boards of education to allow certain trained school resource officers and security personnel to carry a “deadly weapon” while on duty for their school system.
Interestingly, two county superintendent positions, Crenshaw County and Cullman County, have been changed from elected to appointed positions.
$30 million in bonds will be sold to repair schools damaged in the April 27, 2011, and December 25, 2012, tornadoes. Details of how much will be allocated to whom are in the Act.
Where the budget is concerned, teachers will be given a 2% pay raise and $5 million has been appropriated to develop a liability insurance program for public education employees. Details on the raise and insurance program are in this al.com article.
Click here to view a spreadsheet of the approved $5.77 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget. Click here to view the final allocation of monies through the Foundation Program, which provides the bulk of state funding to Alabama’s schools.
Some notable bills that never made it to a vote, including those that never made it out of their committee or maybe did make it out of committee but didn’t make it to a full vote of their own house or the second house, include:
SB67 would have removed the mandate that currently exists for local boards of education to comply with unfunded mandates. Other bodies are exempted, but not local boards of education. It was passed by the Senate and received a favorable report from a House committee, but didn’t make it to the floor of the full House.
HB182, the School Resource Officers’ Act, would have established a state school resource officers’ (SRO) program and provide state funding one-half of the average SRO salary and benefits for each officer. It was contingent upon the passage of a constitutional amendment creating the Alabama Lottery Corporation.
HB612, the Secure Schools Facilities Act, which would authorize the sale of $50 million in bonds “to pay for equipment and renovation to secure all entrances to every K-12 public school in the state” made it through the House, through its Senate committee, but never made it to the full Senate floor. From an al.com article about the proposed Act: “According to a news release from the legislators, 96 percent of the schools in the state cannot lock all exterior doors from a central location, 71 percent cannot monitor all exterior doors from a central location and 46 percent of teachers cannot lock classroom doors from the inside.”
There were a few education lottery bills that never made it out of their committees.
The bills to keep the Common Core State Standards out of Alabama’s standards didn’t make it. While there seemed to be initial support among legislators for the bills, only one, SB403, made it out of their respective committees. SB403 was never taken up by the full Senate.
The Tim Tebow Act was introduced again, and received a favorable report from its Senate committee, but was lost on the floor of the Senate by a vote to carry over the bill.
Companion bills SB227 and HB353 were introduced to change the way teachers are considered for layoff in reduction-in-force (RIF) situations. It contained specific language that local boards would have had to include in their RIF policies which laid out the structure to determine who gets laid off. SB227 made it out of its committee, but was “indefinitely postponed” for the session. Its House companion never made it out of committee.
Check out the ALSDE’s Bill Tracker for bills that were enacted that they followed.