Productive week for Senate
by Shane Dunaway
Feb 22, 2014 | 810 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALLADEGA COUNTY - The week’s legislative session proved to be very productive for the Senate, despite some hiccups Tuesday.

“We had a good bit of filibustering going on during that afternoon, but we did pass a couple bills,” Sen. Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, said.

Tuesday’s docket included the passage of two bills, one that sought to redefine a murder where the defendant kills someone under a protective order as a capital murder and one requiring anything that is recycled to be properly labeled.

On Wednesday, Fielding said five bills were passed during the Banking and Insurance Committee meetings before moving on to the Judiciary Committee, where 11 bills were passed, including a bill raising the workman’s compensation burial expense from $3,000 to $6,000 and a bill that authorizes warrantless arrests for people who are on the property of an educational institution.

“Now, they would have to go to the sheriff’s department or the clerk’s office and get a warrant,” Fielding said. “Under this bill, if it becomes law, then they can make an arrest to someone who’s out there that shouldn’t be out there.”

Fielding said four bills were passed during the Health Committee meeting. One of his bills regarding airbag fraud passed all the way through the Senate and will now go to the House Judiciary Committee.

Thursday’s session resulted in 17 bills being passed with one aimed toward regulating pre-need funeral services.

“Now people go and sign up for pre-need before they actually have to have it later on when they’re deceased,” Fielding said. “Sometimes that money is not there whenever the funeral comes along due to some fraudulent misconduct. This law will tighten that up and make sure that money is placed in a trust. The State Department of Insurance is allowed to go back and investigate on a fairly regular basis to protect these people who put their money up in that regard.”

Children who like to tan may not be able to do so after a bill passed through applying age restrictions on children visiting tanning salons.

“Any child who is under the age of 14 is not allowed to be in a tanning booth unless the parent is there and present,” Fielding said. “Any child who is under the age of 16, but older than 14, may go to a tanning booth if permitted by written permission from the parent. It’s a bill that tries to go to the issue of the growing skin cancer we have in our country.”

Another bill regarding the computerized statewide voter registration list would keep the addresses and names of victims of domestic violence from being display on the list.

The final bill passed prevents sex offenders from going onto school property without first notifying the authorities they are there for a visit.

“If they don’t do that and they are found at the school without going through the proper procedures, they could be subject to a Class C felony charge,” Fielding said. “They can go to a football game and they can go to the public school, but before that, they have to notify the principal or head of security so they can be under some sort of supervision. This bill was requested by public educators and we feel like it’s a good bill.

Reps. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston and Ron Johnson, R-Sylacauga, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Shane Dunaway at