Bill would allow Alabama businesses to stay open during pandemic

Bill would allow all businesses to remain open during future pandemic

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Senate committee plans to discuss a bill Wednesday allowing businesses and houses of worship to stay open if they follow guidelines during a pandemic.

Under the bill, businesses could stay open if they follow all safety precautions issued by the governor or local governments during an epidemic or pandemic.

Bill sponsor Rep. Jamie Kiel, R-Russellville, filed the bill after the state mandated some businesses close temporarily while others could stay open in 2020.

“It makes a level playing field for all businesses,” Kiel said. “So if one business can be open under certain guidelines that are sitting down with the governor, then all business could be opened under those same guidelines.”

The bill passed the House 75-22 last week. Alabama Democrats did not support the legislation.

“I thought it really impeded on what the governor was already doing,” said Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika.

During the debates many democrats said the governor’s decision to close some businesses helped save lives.

“We can’t allow people to make their own decisions all the time, because we never know if they’re gonna make the right decisions,” Gray said.

The bill will be in a Senate committee Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.