Legislative Summary: 2/18 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Legislative Summary: 2/18

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A summary of action in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday, a committee meeting day:

COMMITTEES

-House Constitution and Elections Committee approved a bill to make it easier for independent and third party candidates to get on the ballot in Alabama. Goes to House.

-House Constitution and Elections Committee approved a bill to require candidates to post campaign finance disclosure forms on the Internet. Goes to House.

-House Judiciary Committee approved proposed legislation that says a person who uses the Internet to solicit a child for sex can be charged with a crime even if the person being solicited is an undercover police officer. Goes to House.

-House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to make the hallucinogenic salvia divinorum a controlled substance in Alabama. Goes to House.

-House Public Safety Committee passed a bill that would allow municipalities to use cameras to catch motorists running traffic lights. Goes to House.

-House Public Safety Committee passed bill to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Goes to House.

-House Tourism and Travel Committee approved a bill that puts into state law the Greene County sheriff's regulations for electronic bingo in the west Alabama County. Goes to House.

-House Tourism and Travel Committee approved a bill that allows towns with populations greater than 500 people in dry counties to vote to legalize sale of alcoholic beverages. Goes to House.

-House Tourism and Travel Committee approved bills that would legalize the sale of certain beers and wines with higher alcohol content than currently allowed in the state. Go to House.

-House Agriculture and Forestry Committee delayed action on bill to strengthen the penalties for cockfighting in Alabama.

-Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee approved a proposed constitutional amendment to remove the state sales tax on groceries. Goes to Senate.

-Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved taking $1 billion from a state savings account to spend on road and bridge construction. Goes to Senate.

-Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee approved spending $6 million to help spur home sales. Goes to Senate.

-Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to expand the number of people who can witness executions. Goes to Senate.

-Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to make it a crime for sex offenders to access social networking sites used by minors, such as Facebook. Goes to Senate.

-Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to make it a crime to transport or conceal illegal immigrants. Goes to Senate.

AGENDA

-House and Senate meet at 10 a.m. Thursday.

-Senate Commerce, Transportation and Utilities Committee meets at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Joint Briefing Room at the Statehouse.

-Senate Children, Youth Affairs and Human Resources Committee meets at 9:30 a.m Thursday in room 610 in the Statehouse to consider three bills affecting sex crimes.

-Senate Governmental Affairs Committee meets at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in room 727 to consider bills continuing the existence of several state boards.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"This lowers to 150 the number of signatures required in some House districts. That's less than a morning standing in front of Wal-Mart with a petition." - Rep. Ken Guin, D-Carbon Hill, arguing against a bill that would make it easier for independent and third party candidates to get on the ballot in Alabama.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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