Several bills were debated in other committee meetings; the highlight of which was passage of a DUI Ignition Interrupt Bill. In short, Alabama remains as the only state that does not have this requirement…there were four states at the beginning of the year but the other states have passed similar laws during their legislative session. The bill passed committee and should be debated on the floor in the coming days.
Some highlights of the bill – government does not bear the cost of the device, costs are borne by the driver, once convicted. Driver’s get a special code on their driver’s license requiring them to drive a car with the device attached. This helps if they get pulled over for some other offense and the officer will see the code and the driver is now in violation of their probation. The bill does not reduce current license suspensions times, etc so it does not “water down” current laws. The DA’s and Public Safety are also in support…all very important to me. I never want to legislate something that causes concerns with enforcement; important to have everyone on board on the front end. You can view a fact sheet on Ignition Interlocks here.
Later this afternoon I attended a two hour Public Hearing on SB196, a bill to reform child custody requirements and shared parenting. As you might imagine, this is a very sensitive subject. I appreciate the bill sponsor holding the public hearing and the many people that turned out to share their concerns. I think this issue needs to be addressed but the bill, in its current form, needs additional work. The sponsor has already started working on amendments. Bottom line – the introduction of this bill has brought the child custody issue to the table. I took several notes from comments during the hearing – one note I took “We don’t need to change the laws; we need to change the judges." Hmmm, some truth to that.
I have the monthly contract review meeting in the morning where we have a full agenda that I need to review tonight..for inquiring minds - the agenda is posted here. The Senate goes back into session at 1100 tomorrow morning. We have SB215, a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting mandatory participation in a health care system and the General Fund on the agenda. Should be a great day!