Welcome! The Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA) is a member-owned federation of 22 electric distribution cooperatives.

Legislative Updates

Legislative Update Videos

Legislative Report 03-20-17 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature has completed 13 days of the current session. The House passed the General Fund budget with most areas receiving level funding. The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee approved a $6.4 million Education Trust Fund budget, which then went to the full Senate where members adjourned for the two-week break before any action was taken. Negotiations are still ongoing over SB 253 regarding broadband incentives. Co-op employees should be vigilant regarding the possible spread of Avian flu in poultry operations in North Alabama.


Legislative Report 03-13-17 from AREA on Vimeo.

Ten days of the current legislative session are complete. A look at last week’s action, including changes made to SB 253 regarding incentives for rural broadband access, updates on a set of bills regarding the city of Opelika’s broadband services, and video of our 154 young people visiting the Statehouse and meeting your local representatives as part of the 2017 AREA Montgomery Youth Tour on Wednesday, March 8.


Legislative Report 03-03-17 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature has completed eight days of its current session. The new House Majority Leader has a co-op connection; seven resolutions from the Southern States Energy Board are being reviewed; SB 253 involving incentives for broadband expansion was introduced and changes are expected; and a bill that would change the way deer are hunted has passed the House.


Legislative Report 02-24-17 from AREA on Vimeo.

Updates on legislation affecting Alabama’s electric cooperatives after six days of the current legislative session: Election of a new House majority leader set next week; amendment offered to “clean up” SB 158 dealing with the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy Committee; amendment for SB 123 affecting scholarship organizations under the Alabama Accountability Act; four separate Senate bills dealing with expansion of broadband service in the city of Opelika; and more broadband incentive bills expected next week.


Legislative Update, Feb. 21, 2017 from AREA on Vimeo.

A quick look at the first four days of the 2017 Legislation Session of the Alabama Legislature, including bills dealing with the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy, scholarship organizations under the Alabama Accountability Act, and discussions involving rural broadband.


Alabama voters will see 14 statewide constitutional amendments on ballot
In addition to the much-publicized presidential race, voters in Alabama will also vote on these offices in the Nov. 8 general election:
  •       U.S. Senate
  •       U.S. House of Representative (seven seats)
  •       Supreme Court, associate justice (three seats)
  •       Public Service Commission president
  •       State Board of Education (four seats)
  •       Circuit court judges (various seats)
  •       District court judges
  •       District attorneys
  •       Various county offices

But there will also be 14 statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot, ranging from replacing antiquated language to local issues. Below are summaries of the constitutional amendments, with guidance from AREA staff. This guidance does not mean an endorsement of the amendment it is what AREA feels the appropriate public policy should be. Also, we encourage you to study this PARCA analysis, where you can get detailed information to make an informed decision on the amendments.

For more information on voting in the general election, visit www.alabamavotes.gov, the state’s official election center, or call 800-274-8683.


Legislative Update, May 9, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature concluded its regular session without acting on some major legislation that would have decided how the state would spend funds from the BP oil spill settlement, and a bond issue to shore up the state’s failing prison system. Lawmakers did pass SB 335, regulating municipal use of third party tax auditors and collectors, and SB 218, which permits cities to narrow their police jurisdictions from 3 to 1.5 miles. Future updates will explore these and other legislative issues in more detail.


 

Legislative Update, May 2, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

With two days left in the regular session, the Alabama Legislature’s agenda includes possible passage of a $800 million bond issue for the state’s prison system; action by the Senate on BP oil spill settlement money to provide one-time funding for Medicaid; the impeachment process heads to a committee; and likely passage of a bill involving municipal use of third party tax collectors and auditors.


 

Legislative Update, March 30 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature is in recess this week. Last week, the Senate concurred with the House on the General Fund budget, which Gov. Bentley has vowed to veto; legislation involving third party tax collectors and auditors received a public hearing and a substitute bill is being prepared; gas tax legislation may come up for a vote in the House; SB 218 by Sen. Cam Ward changing the distance of police jurisdictions will be before the House; discussions have been heard about possible renewal portfolio standards for the state; and HB34, the Alabama Renewal Act economic development package, has been signed by the governor.

 


 

Legislative Update , March 21, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

As the Alabama Legislature begins the 8th week of its session, we look back at last week’s activity, including:
AREA Montgomery Youth Tour brings more than 150 cooperative students to the Statehouse to listen and learn from their legislators; the General Fund passes the House and heads to the Senate with amendments; the Senate approves a Right to Work constitutional amendment; public hearing Wednesday on HB 375 involving municipal use of third party tax collectors and auditors; and bills authorizing a 6-cent per gallon gasoline tax and setting up the funding mechanism for that tax, which will be designated for road improvements.


Legislative Update, March 14, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature enters its 7th week on Tuesday, the 15th legislative day. Last week, the House passed the Education Trust Fund budget, but a filibuster by Democrats over the funding of Medicaid delayed any other substantive action. The Senate will take up the education budget this week. Two bills have been introduced which would prevent cities from hiring third party entities to conduct audits or collect municipal taxes. As a result of a recent webinar, information will be forthcoming regarding FEMA’s reimbursements to co–ops for disaster recovery work.


Legislative Update , March 7, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature enters the sixth week of the current session on Tuesday. In today’s Legislative Update, we brief you on action taken on legislation involving police jurisdictions, incentives for broadband expansion, a state response to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the Education Trust Fund in the House, and good news about the recent primary election results.


 

Legislative Update, February 29, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

As the Alabama Legislature enters the fifth week of this session, we update you on third party solar financing legislation, bills involving the EPA and Clean Power Plan, police jurisdictions, broadband incentives and state budgets.

Reminder: Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, March 1. For election information, go to alabamavotes.gov.


Legislative Update, February 22, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

A recap of activity in the third week of the Alabama Legislature: House passage of a uniform minimum wage bill, a right to work Constitutional Amendment bill, and legislation authorizing deer baiting; the Senate starts work on the General Fund budget.

Specific bills of interest to AREA: incentive bills for expansion of broadband access, legislation affecting the size of police jurisdictions, and a public hearing on SB56 which would expand the limits of broadband access beyond the city of Opelika, but which could affect any municipality in the state.


Legislative Update, February 15, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

Good news from the U.S. Supreme Court, which has granted an unprecedented stay of the ERA’s Clean Power Plan; a look at bills in the Alabama Legislature involving incentives for providers of rural broadband access, size reductions of police jurisdictions, and proposed changes affecting defined benefit retirement plans.


AREA Legislative Update, February 5, 2016 from AREA on Vimeo.

The Alabama Legislature returned for its 2016 session on Tuesday. The Special Education Trust Fund has plenty of revenue, but not so the General Fund, which may be in worse shape than last year. We take a look at legislation of interest to electric cooperatives, including HB 92 by Rep. Lynn Greer which would make pension plans subject to state income tax, SB 56 which would allow the city to expand broadband services outside the city limits of Opelika, and HB 110 by Rep. Becky Norgren, which would place cable tv operations under control of the Alabama Public Service Commission.