Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Legislative Session Bills to Support or Kill

The 2011 Alabama Legislative Session began on March 1. Browsing through the bills that have already been filed I have found both great bills and horrible bills. Let's start with the great ones.

Bills to Support

1. The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act - This bill would protect physicians who recommend and patients who use marijuana as medicine from arrest and prosecution under state law. This will be the 8th year we have tried to get it passed. And things actually look pretty good this year. We do not have a bill number yet but hope to have one next week. It will be assigned to the Judiciary Committee. Please contact the members of the judiciary committee and ask them to pass this bill. The linked names on the Judiciary page do not seem to be working. For contact information please go HERE. Emails are ok, phone calls are better and face to face visits are best.

2. HB10 by Rep. Chris England would allow persons with felony drug convictions who have served their time and paid all fines and restitution to be eligible for public assistance (housing, food stamps etc..) Starving people over petty drug convictions only increases crime and makes children, who have nothing to do with what their parents may have done, go hungry.

3. HB23 is the Records Expungement bill sponsored by Rep. Chris England and would allow persons arrested but never convicted of a crime to have all records, including photos and fingerprints expunged from the court. This bill makes complete sense. People who have not been convicted of a crime but have a record are denied jobs, housing, public assistance if they need it and have problems when they travel across borders. For a while when I was traveling to Canada a great deal an additional $1000 was required because an immigration lawyer had to be retained in Canada on my behalf just so I could clear customs.

4. HB128 sponsored by Rep. Chris England would allow first time felony offenders whose crimes did not include moral turpitude to be sentenced to no more than three years in jail, prison or treatment and cap fines that could be imposed. Once the sentence is completed the record of defendant would be wiped clean.

5. HB129 Sponsored by Rep. Chris England - This bill would require probation and parole officers to provide probationers with periodic compliance incentive status updates to afford probationers with the opportunity to understand their compliance status.
This bill would also allow a probationer serving a probationary sentence of greater than one year to receive an automatic compliance incentive review upon completing two-thirds of the probation period or suspension of sentence.
This bill would allow probationers to be transferred to unsupervised probation if in satisfactory compliance with the terms and conditions of probation, including the payment of court-ordered fines and costs, as well as restitution.

6. HB134 Sponsored by Rep. Rod Scott - Under existing law, the driver's license of a person convicted of a drug offense or adjudicated a juvenile delinquent when the underlying offense is a drug offense is required to be suspended for six months.
This bill would delete the requirement for the suspension for all drug offenses except trafficking in illegal drugs.
The bill would also provide for the certification of this act to the United States Department of Transportation by the Governor.

7. HB193 Sponsored by Rep. Mike Jones - The Common Sense Consumption Act - This bill would prohibit lawsuits based on claims arising out of weight gain, obesity, a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity, or other generally known condition allegedly caused by or allegedly likely to result from long-term consumption of food.

8. HB225 Sponsored by our favorite Representative Patricia Todd -

SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, there is no provision to create and maintain a statewide registry of convicted animal abusers.
This bill would require the annual registration of each animal abuser with the local sheriff's department in the county of the abuser's residence and would provide for fines and penalties for violations.
This bill would require each county sheriff to maintain a local registry of animal abusers; to provide this information to certain residents, businesses, and schools; and to forward the registration information to the Department of Public Safety.
This bill would require the Department of Public Safety to create and maintain a central registry of animal abusers that can be assessed by the public.

9. HB247 Sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd - Under existing law, additional penalties are imposed against a person if the offense committed is motivated by the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability.
This bill would provide for those additional penalties for crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

10. HB226 Sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd - Under existing law, State Department of Education is required to develop a model policy for local school boards pertaining to student harassment prevention. Currently, the term "harassment" does not specifically include as a characteristic of a student the gender identity or sexual orientation of the student or of the individual who is associated with the student.
This bill would expand the definition of "harassment" to include as a characteristic of a student the gender identity or sexual orientation of the student or of the individual with whom the student associates.

(NOTE:) I have a deeply personal interest in the two bills above. My daughter is perceived to be gay by her peers. This perception comes from her extreme modesty because she doesn't dress like a hooker and try to throw her ass on every boy who walks by. Whether she is gay or not is no ones fucking business but hers and her family's. Every day at school she is tormented by vicious hillbilly idiots that could have been cast in 'Deliverance'. Last week she was locked in a closet and the door was barricaded. If she'd had a medical emergency (and that was very possible as she has been having some pretty serious medical problems of late) or if there had been a fire or weather emergency then my daughter could have died and I would right now be in jail for exacting revenge sans the judicial process. The school does only the very minimum when it comes to doling out punishments to the kids who torment her. In the above mentioned case the vicious kids involved were given a few days of in school suspension. After this happened the ring leader of the kids who did this took it to Facebook. I saved the page and printed it out and turned it over to the school resource officer who said there might be enough there to file harassing communications charges. If there is enough you can bet your ass that I will be filing those charges and hope the punk who did this goes to juvenile detention. We'll see how he likes being locked up against his will. Every kid deserves to learn in a non-hostile environment regardless of race, religion, disability or perception of sexual orientation.

11. SB17 Sponsored by Rep. Cam Ward - Under existing law, to gain ballot access, an independent candidate for office must file a written petition signed by at least three percent of the qualified electors who cast ballots for the office of Governor in the last general election.
This bill would reduce the number of names of qualified electors required for independent candidates for statewide office to gain ballot access.

12. HB147 - Sponsored by By Representatives McMillan, DeMarco, Ford, Scott, Hill, Newton (D) McClendon, Johnson (R) Millican, McCutcheon, Treadaway, Thomas, Weaver, Wood, Ison, Boothe, Greer, Collins, Nordgren, Galliher, Roberts, Clouse, Mask, Hubbard (M) Brown and McClurkin

This bill would outlaw the use of gas chambers in Humane Society Shelters. Before I became aware of this bill I thought that when an animal that hadn't found a forever home was put down in a shelter that they were put to sleep just like at the vet's office. Turns out it isn't nearly as humane as that. What they really do is load bunches of dogs or cats into a GAS CHAMBER and gas them. Before sweet death finally comes these poor animals urinate and defecate on themselves and tear each other apart out of fear. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it. This bill would mandate that animals who have to be euthanized are done so with a shot....just like at the vets office.

Please have your pet spayed or neutered so that they don't add to the problem of unlove3d and unwanted animals. When the pitbull puppy showed up here a few weeks ago I called the local shelter to see if it was a no kill. It wasn't. And the lady on the phone told me that last year they had taken in 6000 dogs who were strays or dumped. She said in the first hour and a half of that morning 12 dumped dogs were brought in. How awful. So, take your furry friends to the vet for the snip snip and stop adding to the problem.

Bills to Kill

1. HB91 - Sponsored by Rep. Gaston - This bill would add the following to the Schedule I of the controlled substances list: 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 4-Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone), 4-Methoxymethcathinone, 3-Fluoromethcathinone, and 4-Fluoromethcathinone.
This action would make the drugs subject to regulation and penalties in the same manner as other controlled substances.

2. HB163 - Sponsored by Rep. Farley - Under existing law, the possession of certain named chemical compounds of synthetic cannabinoids is prohibited and subject to criminal penalties. Possession of the substances is a Class C felony except possession for personal use on the first offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
This bill would add certain named chemical compounds of synthetic cannabinoid to the law and would specify that any other chemical compound capable of exhibiting cannabinoid like psychoactivity would be prohibited. Violations would be subject to the existing penalties.

(NOTE: We have plenty of failed drug laws on the books and the last thing this state needs is more. Passage of these two laws would mean more people in prison and more tax dollars wasted to keep them there. Not to mention that the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and Republican Governor Robert Bentley are promoting changes to existing drug laws (marijuana) in order to keep people out of prison for personal possession as well as pushing for the release of those currently in prison for marijuana possession. Also, it's important to point out that current prohibition laws are responsible for the rise in synthetic substitutes. In six months there will be a new designer synthetic on the market. This is 'feel good' legislation that needs to die a quick death. Both of these bills have had their second read in the judiciary committee. Please contact the members of the judiciary committee and ask them to kill these bills. )

3. HB157 Sponsored by Rep.'s Rich, Long, Greer, Hammon, Baughn, Nordgren and Collins - Under existing law, there is no requirement that a welfare recipient of TANF, food stamps, or Medicaid must be tested for substance abuse. Also under existing law, there is no requirement that any adult applying for TANF, food stamps, or Medicaid must be tested for substance abuse if there is a reasonable suspicion of the appearance or demeanor of the applicant that implies that the applicant may be under the influence of a controlled substance.
This bill would make such requirements.
This bill would provide for the Department of Human Resources to be responsible for testing; would provide that any positive test results are not admissible in any criminal proceeding; would provide that any adult who fails the test or refuses to take the test would be ineligible for TANF, food stamps, or Medicaid; and would provide for the department to promulgate rules pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act to implement this act.

(Note: This bill will ensure that innocent children go hungry and without medical care because of something their parents might have done. Drug testing for these services means that poor people or people who have recently lost their jobs due to the economy no longer have any privacy rights. Please remember that a positive drug test does not mean that said drugs were purchased with money that should have been spent on medical care or groceries. Then there is the issue of a false positive which is far more common than people think. Many over the counter medications can cause a false positive on a drug screen. Also, why only illegal drugs? If the purpose of this bill is to make people spend money on the things they should spend it on then why not also test for alcohol, tobacco and cheeseburgers from McDonald's? In my opinion the only ones who should be drug tested are elected officials, state employees and law enforcement personnel. Not poor people who need a little help to feed their families. Let's start at the top and drug test the people who have all the power in this state and all the taxpayer money at their disposal and make all the laws that they themselves are not subject to. Last but not should always fight attempts to make laws that require that you hand over your bodily fluids to the damn government.)

4. HB8 Sponsored by Rep. Long - This bill shall be known as the "Alabama Women Become Property of the State Upon Catching Pregnant Act (title mine). Existing law makes it a crime to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly expose a child to a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia.
This bill would clarify the term "child" to include an unborn child in utero at any stage of development regardless of viability. This bill would establish venue for prosecution for exposure in utero in the county where the child is born. This bill would create a rebuttable presumption of exposure in utero if both the mother and the child test positive for the same controlled substance not prescribed by a physician.

(Note: What this bill would really do is deter expectant mothers from seeking out critical prenatal care and rip apart families. No one thinks its a good idea for women to use drugs of any kind, including alcohol and tobacco, while pregnant. However addiction doesn't go away overnight upon becoming pregnant. If a pregnant woman is using drugs then treatment and parenting classes would be the best way to ensure she stops using drugs and is able to care for her child. Not prison. Not DHR. If this bill were really about the health of an infant then alcohol and tobacco which are both proven to cause birth defects would be included. This is another piece of feel good legislation that needs to die quickly.)

5. HB56 Sponsored by By Representatives Hammon, Collins, Patterson, Rich, Nordgren, Merrill, Treadaway, Johnson (R) Roberts, Henry, Bridges, Gaston, Johnson (K) Chesteen, Sanderford, Williams (D) McClendon, Wren, Williams (J) Hubbard (M) Williams (P) Baughn, Moore (B) Long and Canfield.

This is the Arizona style anti-immigration bill and it is absolutely terrible. It legalizes racial profiling (as if we didn't have enough of that already)and would waste tax dollars by deporting Hispanics who are determined to be here without the proper paperwork. Deporting Hispanics before the border is gotten under control is insane. They will just come right back and be deported again and again and again. Do we have a problem concerning immigration? Yes. We do. Is this the way to solve demanding to see someones papers (Nazi Germany anyone?), racial profiling, and tearing apart families who only came here for a better life? NO. Why is there so much hate in this state? People here seem to thrive on it. Anyone they can put down, sic the cops on, be biased against due to skin color they love it. It seems to be a majority of Alabama citizens too. Or a damn loud minority. Where is all the Christian love and compassion which Jesus taught?

There will be other bills added to this list as they are filed. If you've looked around ALISON and have seen a bill that should be added to either of these lists please email me or post on this thread.


sixstring said...

Can you give us a link to a draft of the new Michael Phillips bill? Or tell us what wording was changed from last year?

Loretta Nall said...

hey sixstring I will send it to you via email. We don't have it back from Legislative Reference Service yet so I don't know what will be changed from the one I am sending you. Not much I hope.

Changes from last year include dispensary language and how they are to be run and increased plant numbers per patient from 6 to 12.

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