Lawmakers to only take up local bills, budgets; here’s what got cut

State senator introduces bill for gas tax money for small businesses

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Lawmakers will not take up several coronavirus related bills this legislative session.

The legislature will only tackle the budgets, bond issue, and local bills House and Senate leadership agreed Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmakers said it is possible some of these coronavirus-related proposals could be discussed in a future special session.

One proposal would have stripped some powers from the state health officer during a state of emergency. The bill would require the governor sign a health order issued by the state health officer during a disease or pandemic outbreak in order for it to go into effect.

It would also automatically end a state of emergency after 14 days. Currently, it terminates after 60 days unless the governor or the legislature extends it.

Another lawmaker proposed a liability protection bill to provide civil immunity for businesses, health care centers, and churches. This bill had already passed a Senate committee.

Another proposal would use part of the state’s gas tax money from the Rebuild Alabama Act that to help small businesses hurting from the coronavirus.

If lawmakers approved it, the measure would go on the ballot as a constitutional amendment for the people to vote on.

House and Senate leadership said it is likely there will be a special session later this year but the governor would need to call it. The governor told WSFA in April that she would be ready to call a special session if needed.

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