MONTGOMERY — With only three days left, the 2024 legislative session will likely conclude this week.

Multiple important bills have hurdles remaining before becoming law. 

A lottery and gambling constitutional amendment that passed the House but fell one vote short in the Senate could come up for a vote again in the Senate this week.

However, despite lobbying efforts, mass texts and social media ads, no senators have publicly expressed any interest yet in switching their vote from "no" to "yes" to get the constitutional amendment passed.

“I don’t know if it’s there. Everybody that was solid is pretty solid. Let me put it that way,” State Sen. Jack Williams (R-Wilmer), who voted against both constitutional amendments in March and last week, told 1819 News on Monday.

He continued, “I gave my word. I can’t go back on it. Believe me, I’ve talked to the Governor since. The Governor understands. I gave my word, and that’s all I’ve got.”

The full House and the Senate General Fund Budget Committee have approved legislation capping the increase in property values on annual reappraisals at 7%. The bill still needs the Senate’s approval in the next three legislative days to be signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey.

House Bill 73 by State Rep. Phillip Pettus (R-Killen) and State Sen. David Sessions (R-Grand Bay) would cap yearly property tax increases after a reappraisal. 

Sessions told 1819 News the bill would provide financial stability for Alabama property owners.

“You get all these tax credit bills and I think it kind of muddied the water. This is certainly not a tax incentive or a tax cut, just a cap on the increase. I think we’ll get it on (the calendar),” Sessions said. 

Legislation creating a corporation to manage the Alabama Farm Center in Jefferson County was sent to a conference committee last week after Democratic senators threatened to filibuster the legislation over the governing board member appointed by the House and Senate minority leaders having to be approved by the Governor under the latest version of the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) has been critical of the tax and regulatory breaks the project is getting in the bill.

Williams, who is running to be Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries in 2026, said he thought the bill would still get passed before the session ends. 

“We’re only one little step away. I think it’s going to get worked out,” Williams said.

Jeff Helms, a spokesman for the Alabama Farmers Federation, told 1819 News on Monday, “Alabama Farmers Federation remains committed to the Alabama Farm Center at Hallmark Farms.” 

“We appreciate Sen. Shay Shelnutt and Rep. Danny Crawford working to pass legislation establishing a governance structure to ensure the Center is functional and sustainable for future generations. Our vision for the Alabama Farm Center is a world-class livestock exhibition and event center which will provide educational opportunities for the state’s youth while benefiting Alabama through economic development and tourism,” he added. “Our partners in Jefferson County are eager to see this legislation pass so we can move forward with planning, infrastructure and construction. As the state’s largest farm organization, the Farmers Federation is proud to lead the effort to create a Farm Center worthy of our state’s agriculture industry and the outstanding young people involved in livestock competition. We are encouraged that others share our vision for making the Alabama Farm Center at Hallmark Farms a reality.”

Another bill to watch this week will be the ethics legislation passed in the House over a month ago that was only assigned to a committee in the Senate last week. An amended bill will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

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