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Special Report from Fine Geddie & Associates

May 15, 2020 Legislative Summaries

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she intends to sign both of the state’s fiscal year 2021 operating budgets – the $7.1 billion Education Trust Fund and the $2.4 billion General Fund – as passed by the Alabama Legislature.

At more than $1.9 billion, Alabama’s share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds is nearly as large as the annual budget for most non-education state agencies. The executive and legislative branches have jockeyed for control of these dollars, which must be spent this calendar year or they revert to the federal government.

The Governor also announced an executive amendment to a separate supplemental appropriations bill for the current year budget to allocate CARES Act dollars as follows:

  • $568 million to state government: $300 million to state agencies in general, $200 million for prison system specifically, $53 million for equipment and infrastructure needed for remote work and public access to the functions of state government, $10 million to the courts and $5 million to offset an earlier supplemental appropriation to the Department of Public Health;
  • $300 million to the private sector to support citizens, businesses, nonprofits and faith- based organizations directly impacted by the pandemic;
  • $300 million to education for technology and infrastructure related to remote instruction and learning;
  • $250 million to local governments;
  • $250 million for healthcare services;
  • $118 million for any lawful purpose

The executive amendment also requires reporting of expenditures to the legislative leadership, creates a mechanism for legislative leaders to approve any adjustments that may be needed and, in case authorization is granted at some future date, sets up a process for using CARES Act funds to offset lost revenue to the state.

Governor Ivey will present her executive amendment to the Legislature when they convene on Monday, first to the Senate where the budget originated. The Senate can agree to the amendment (concur), disagree with the amendment and pass the bill as they originally sent it to her (non-concur and pass the bill), or vote to kill the bill (non-concur). The bill would then go to the House which will then have the option of agreeing with the Senate or allowing the bill to die. House and Senate action is taken by a simple majority vote of the elected members.

Recent ASCPA News

  • Medical Marijuana Wins Final Passage, but Gambling Bills Stall in Week of Long Days, Late Nights

    May 7, 2021
    With time running out on the 2021 regular session, all eyes were on the House of Representatives this week. After a day and a half of floor debate and multiple amendments, a bipartisan House voted 68-34 to pass SB46 authorizing medical marijuana in the state.
  • State Budgets Dominate as Session Speeds Towards Conclusion

    April 30, 2021
    The state’s two major operating budgets made major progress this week, starting with the House’s passage Tuesday of a $7.67 billion Education Trust Fund budget for the upcoming year, representing a $455 million increase above the current year. It provides a 2% raise for education employees from K-12 to two-year colleges and invests in a new incentive pay program to bolster math and science in K-12. The Senate concurred with House changes Thursday, sending the budget to the governor.
  • More Progress for Medical Marijuana in House, Senate Revives Hopes for Lottery & Casinos

    April 16, 2021
    The Alabama Legislature recorded another productive week, highlighted by advancement for medical marijuana and gambling. Generally, senators worked together smoothly, although friction slowed work on the House floor occasionally.
  • Progress on Medical Marijuana, Pharmacy Benefit Management and State Lottery, Open Records Discussions are Ongoing

    April 9, 2021
    Both chambers tackled high-profile issues in an eventful week as work began to accelerate in the session's waning days. Proposals advanced regarding medical marijuana, pharmacy benefit management and a state lottery, and work continued on a controversial rewrite of the state's open records law.
  • ASCPA Thanks Representative Barry Moore and Representative Jerry Carl for Fighting for Tax Filing and Payment Extensions for Everyone

    April 2, 2021
    On March 31, 60 Congressional Representatives signed on to a letter, led by Representative Lloyd Smucker, requesting IRS Commissioner Rettig extend the federal tax filing deadline for first quarter estimated tax payments to May 17, 2021.
  • IRS, Treasury disburse more Economic Impact Payments under the American Rescue Plan; total tops 130 million with more to come

    April 1, 2021
    Today, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced they are disbursing several million more payments in the third batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan. This brings the total disbursed so far to more than 130 million payments worth approximately $335 billion.
  • House approves General Fund Budget

    March 12, 2021
    Legislators continued their steady progress this week, highlighted by the House's passage of the $2.474 billion General Fund budget on Tuesday, with the figure representing a slight increase over prior years appropriations.
  • American Rescue Plan Act Elevates Small Business Support in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

    March 11, 2021
    The American Rescue Plan Act provides additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries for programs the SBA is currently administering and adds new efforts.
  • American Rescue Plan Act passes with many tax components

    March 10, 2021
    The House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan Act, H.R. 1319, on Wednesday by a vote of 220–211. It now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature. He is expected to sign it quickly.
  • Broadband expansion in focus during another productive week

    March 5, 2021
    This week the Senate passed a sweeping, multi-pronged proposal from Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) to expand broadband access in Alabama. As it passed the Senate, SB215 creates a new state agency to oversee expansion and award grants, an advisory board to guide the effort, a research alliance of higher education and a finance corporation, authorized to issue up to $250 million in bonds annually.
  • Medical Marijuana Passes Senate

    February 26, 2021
    Legislators made steady, business-like progress throughout the week, and while medical marijuana and looming gambling issues have been reliable--and disruptive--hot-button issues in the years past, they did not disrupt the flow of work.
  • New PPP changes attempt to ease smallest businesses' access

    February 22, 2021
    The administration of President Joe Biden announced Monday that it would institute a two-week period starting Wednesday during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be able to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
  • Lawmakers to Resume Aggressive Workload

    February 19, 2021
    The Alabama Legislature began the annual session at a fast clip, and legislators are expected to maintain their momentum when they return to Montgomery on Tuesday, February 23, after a one-week recess. Two 3-day work weeks are anticipated for the end of February and beginning of March, followed by two normal (2-day) work weeks and then a week-long recess for the last full week of March.
  • Alabama Enacts Landmark TCJA Reform/CARES Act Exemptions

    February 15, 2021
    On February 12, Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law Act 2021-1, introduced only two weeks before as House Bill 170 (and its counterpart SB 98), and designated three separate acts: (1) the Alabama Taxpayer Stimulus Freedom Act of 2021, (2) the Alabama Business Tax Competitiveness Act, and (3) the Alabama Electing Pass-Through Entity Tax Act. Act 2021-1 received unanimous votes in both chambers (94-0 in the House; 27-0 in the Senate).
  • Governor Ivey Signs Three Priority Bills into Law; Including HB170 Preventing Taxation on COVID-19 Relief

    February 12, 2021
    Governor Ivey signs three priority bills into law; including HB170 which prevents taxation on COVID-19 relief.
  • Fast-paced productivity again in Week Two

    February 12, 2021
    The three bills that Governor Kay Ivey signed into law last Friday were identified as the key legislative priorities for the session and the swift approval of each reflects the highly productive posture in which the Alabama Legislature has operated the past two weeks.
  • Final vote possible today on bill changing corporate tax code, untaxing COVID-19 relief money

    February 10, 2021
    At least one of the Legislature’s priority bills could get final approval today. House Bill 170 and Senate version SB98 clarify that Alabamians don’t have to pay income taxes on federal COVID-19 relief funds and make multiple changes to the corporate tax code. The Senate is expected to vote on the fast-tracked bills this afternoon. It’ll then go to the governor.
  • Wolters Kluwer Examines President Joe Biden’s Tax Proposals Ahead of Presidents’ Day

    February 10, 2021
    When elected, many Presidents have been quite successful in getting a substantial portion of their tax proposals enacted in the first two years in office. President Joe Biden has divided his tax proposals into two efforts. The priority tax package he is looking to enact quickly focuses on immediate COVID-related relief for individuals and businesses. The longer-term tax package on which he ran and hopes to enact at some point during 2021 is focused on tax increases on wealthier individuals and corporations, tax breaks for lower income taxpayers, and tax provisions to promote domestic job growth and conversion to clean energy.
  • SBA and lenders take more steps to improve Paycheck Protection Program

    February 10, 2021
    Loan data shows 1.3 million loans and significant increase to underserved entrepreneurs
  • Productive Week Despite Unusual Circumstances

    February 5, 2021
    The Alabama Legislature got down to business immediately in the 2021 session’s first week; both chambers moved major legislation, seemingly unhindered by social distancing and other virus-related precautions. Gov. Kay Ivey matched their pace, delivering her annual State of the State address virtually on Tuesday and submitting her budget recommendations the next day.
  • TCJA Reform/CARES Act Bill Introduced in both House and Senate

    February 2, 2021
    On January 28, HB 170 and its Senate counterpart, SB 98, were prefiled with the Alabama Legislature and designated as three separate acts: (i) The Alabama Taxpayer Stimulus Freedom Act of 2021, (ii) The Alabama Business Tax Competitiveness Act, and (iii) The Alabama Electing Pass-Through Entity Tax Act.
  • 2021 Regular Session: Outlook for Opening Day

    February 2, 2021
    The Alabama Legislature convenes in Regular Session at noon today, February 2, with the public excluded from both legislative chambers. Proceedings will be viewable by livestream. Likewise, committee hearings may be observed via livestream through the Legislature’s website. Fine Geddie has procedures in place to monitor legislative actions and communicate directly with public officials and staff.
  • Special Edition: AICPA Town Hall Covering PPP2

    December 28, 2020
    Erik Asgeirsson and Lisa Simpson have recorded a special edition AICPA Town Hall. They cover a breakdown of the bill, eligibility and tax deductibility, and steps firms can take to prepare.
  • Key Alabama Income Tax considerations related to the CARES Act provisions for individuals & businesses

    December 23, 2020
    After the enactment of the CARES Act in March, the ASCPA State Tax Committee closely monitored the status of the ongoing efforts to alert the state’s legislative delegation to the critical need for a special legislative session during which several pandemic-related bills could be considered.
  • Six Constitutional Amendments are on the November Ballot

    October 14, 2020
    There are six constitutional amendments on the November 3rd ballot. Your organization may or may not take positions on such amendments, but everyone needs to be aware of what the amendments would do if enacted by the voters.
  • ASCPA Joins AICPA, COST in Letter Urging Congressional Support for State Tax Filing Relief for Remote Workers

    August 31, 2020
    The ASCPA has joined more than 120 employers and organizations across the nation in signing a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to support state tax filing and withholding relief for remote workers during the pandemic by enacting Section 403 of S.4318, the American Workers, Families and Employers Assistance Act, and a related measure, S.3995, the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act.
  • Could the state tax virus relief money? Yes, but lawmakers want to change that.

    August 21, 2020
    Many Alabama families and businesses that received federal coronavirus relief funds will be taxed by the state if legislative action isn’t taken
  • Payroll Tax Deferral Presidential Action: AICPA Addresses Questions, Need for Guidance

    August 19, 2020
    President Trump’s recent executive action will allow employees to defer certain payroll tax obligations. The AICPA wrote to the Treasury and the IRS for guidance on several key questions
  • Special Report: Primary Election Run-offs & Updated Statewide Health Order

    July 15, 2020
    The Primary Election Runoffs for a U.S. Senate seat, Congressional District 1, Congressional District 2 and a seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals were held yesterday, July 14, 2020. Starting tomorrow, July 16, 2020, the Statewide Health Order will be updated to require people to wear a mask in public.
  • Week Nine: Final Day of the 2020 Session

    May 19, 2020
    In brief sessions Monday afternoon, both the Alabama Senate and House overwhelmingly approved Gov. Kay Ivey's plan for spending the $1.9 billion federal Coronavirus relief funds, the only major issue in question going into the Regular Session's final day.
  • 2020 Regular Session: Legislators Return to Positive Financial Forecast

    February 10, 2020
    Alabama’s 2020 Regular Session began this week on an upbeat note, as official budget projections showed healthy revenue growth to support routine operations and new initiatives.
  • Week Ten: Busy Week on Big Issues

    May 17, 2019
    Again this week, lawmakers worked three full meeting days as they took action on broadband expansion, education reform, a state lottery, economic development incentives and budgets.
  • Week Nine: Legislature Takes Up Major Issues: Broadband Expansion and Lottery Advance, Sweeping Education Reform Proposed

    May 10, 2019
    The Legislature worked three full meeting days this week, devoting much of its debate time to topics like abortion, criminal justice reform, medical marijuana and franchisee protection.
  • Week Eight: Broadband Internet Service Dominates Debate at State House

    May 3, 2019
    Just as high-speed internet access pervades every aspect of modern life, the issue of expanding broadband service in unserved and underserved areas of Alabama dominated the Alabama State House this week. Bills to allow electric utilities to use their easements to offer broadband service and to enlarge a broadband grant program both advanced, along with a historic $7.1 billion education budget that sends $20 million to the grant program.
  • Week Seven: Lottery Proposal Passes Senate

    April 26, 2019
    The Alabama Legislature capped off another productive week in Montgomery when the Senate narrowly gave the green light to a lottery referendum Thursday afternoon. SB220 by Sen. Greg Albritton (R—Atmore), a constitutional amendment, advanced with the bare minimum needed for passage – 21 votes – only after Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R—Trussville) changed his “nay” to an “aye” at the last minute. Twelve senators voted in opposition.
  • Week Six: Ethics Bill for Economic Developers Awaits Governor's Signature

    April 19, 2019
    An ethics measure preserving confidentiality for certain economic development professionals earned swift final passage this week in the Senate, as promised by Senate President Pro-Tempore Del Marsh (R—Anniston). HB 289 by Rep. Alan Baker (R—Brewton) only needs Gov. Kay Ivey’s signature to become law.
  • Week Five: Productive Week Though Tensions Heat Up

    April 12, 2019
    With nearly a third of the session’s meeting days complete, the Alabama Legislature notched another productive week in Montgomery. However, partisan tension appears to be building as bills progress and debate on more controversial topics such as sweeping judicial, ethics, regulatory and other reforms becomes a more imminent.
  • Week One: Special Session on Infrastructure Underway

    March 7, 2019
    Governor Kay Ivey called the Alabama Legislature into a Special Session focused on transportation infrastructure, and lawmakers which commenced on Wednesday.
  • Governor Calls Special Legislative Session on Infrastructure

    March 6, 2019
    Last night, Governor Kay Ivey called the Alabama Legislature into a Special Session focused on transportation infrastructure, and lawmakers convened at 9:30 a.m. today. The governor's proclamation specified three issues for consideration.
  • A new quadrennium is underway

    February 5, 2019
    Now that the inaugural ceremonies have concluded and our office holders have settled in, we want to give you a pre-session report on a few agenda items. The 2019 Regular Session will convene on March 5 and will conclude by June 17.
  • The Primary Election Runoffs were full of surprises

    July 19, 2018
    The runoffs in the 2018 Primary Election were held yesterday. Last night was full of surprises, including an underdog’s breakthrough in the Lieutenant Governor’s race. Further, the widest margins of victory were seen in races where the incumbent faced an opponent who had previously held the office. Steve Marshall had a 24% margin of victory in what many predicted to be a very close Attorney General’s race, while Congressman Martha Roby (R—AL) beat former Congressman Bobby Bright by 36 points.
  • 2018 Primary Election Report - Runoffs

    July 9, 2018
    Turnout is always an issue for a runoff, but with the Republican nominations for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor still undetermined, voters have little reason to be indifferent. Additionally, there will be a Republican runoff in the race for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, where Congressman Martha Roby (R—AL) faces her predecessor, former Congressman Bobby Bright, whom Roby ousted in 2010. Bright has changed parties and launched a campaign premised on his support for President Trump, aimed at emphasizing Roby’s lack thereof. However, President Trump has endorsed Roby and been critical of Bright, which has curbed his campaign’s momentum. The report compiled below provides a summary of each runoff race.
  • 2018 Alabama Primary Election Results

    June 8, 2018
    Primary elections for statewide constitutional offices, state appellate court seats, and all contested legislative seats were held June 5, 2018. The report complied below provides a summary of each race in isolation.