From Gun Licenses to Baldwin Barbers – Governor Ivey Highlights New Alabama Laws
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday highlighted 19 bills that have passed the Legislature this session, ranging from controversial measures like the repeal of a highly controversial gun license to little-noticed legislation as a bill that only affected Baldwin County barbers.
Ivey had already signed the bills, but she did it again in a public ceremony in Montgomery to give lawmakers and others a chance to bow down and have their photo taken with the CEO. the state.
While other laws may have garnered more attention, a bill Ivey highlighted on Wednesday could have a major economic impact for the Port of Mobile. The measure updates a law dating back to the 1920s allowing the Alabama Port Authority to build inland port facilities.
This law authorized such installations only on watercourses. But barges hauling cargo on Alabama’s rivers are largely a thing of the past. Today, most products entering and leaving the port are put on trucks.
The new law authorizes intermodal container transfer facilities that will connect the port to state destinations by rail. The first of these facilities, a $54 million project, will be built in Montgomery County.
“We are putting the infrastructure in place to give Alabama shippers, businesses and industry the ability to move their cargo quickly and efficiently out of the Port of Mobile,” said Judith Adams, spokeswoman for the Port of Mobile. port authority.
Adams said the Montgomery facility, slated for completion by the end of 2024 near the Hyundai automobile manufacturing plant, will reduce truck congestion on Interstate 65 and generate 2,618 direct jobs and indirect there and in Mobile. She said it would also create $340 million in business revenue and $14.2 million in state and local taxes.
“It’s also a job generator,” she says.
The state and Norfolk Southern are planning a $74 million facility in Birmingham. Adams said officials are also looking at northern Alabama.
Adams said other states have built such facilities. Doing the same will keep the port competitive, she added.
The legislation comes at a time of rapid growth for the port. From February 2021 to February 2022, Adams said, container terminal activity increased by 21%.
Canadian National Railways already transports goods to and from the port by train, carrying products to Memphis, Tennessee, Chicago and Canada. Adams said rail traffic increased by 139%.
“We are seeing a huge growth in demand. … We really have to serve this state as much as we have to serve out of state,” she said.
The so-called Constitutional Deferral Bill was more controversial. From January, when it comes into effect, a pistol license will no longer be required to carry concealed weapons. This bill has divided old friends Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) and Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran.
“If this law passes, then anyone can legally enter with a concealed weapon,” Cochrane warned at a press conference in October.
Stringer retorted, “A $20 piece of plastic, a sheriff’s clearance slip won’t stop a felon from being a felon.
Ivey put pen to paper and posed for a photo with several Mobile-area mayors, Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) and Rep. Chip Brown (R-Mobil) to celebrate their bill demanding money generated by offshore oil and gas leases. to be used exclusively for projects in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
The money has been used in the past for projects like a boat launch and a park at Orange Beach. Upcoming projects include reconnecting Mobile Riverfront Park with the Mobile River and preserving undeveloped land between Bay Minette Creek and the Mobile River Delta in Baldwin County.
Traditionally, lease money under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) has been spent locally. But Elliott said lawmakers in other parts of the state have begun to watch the money as annual revenues — currently $41 million — have increased.
Ivey on Wednesday highlighted several other new laws sponsored by lawmakers in the mobile region:
- “Shirley’s Law”, which creates an elder abuse registry. Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) and Rep. Victor Gaston (R-Mobile) sponsored the act.
- HB 68, sponsored by Figures and Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), which guarantees certain concessions to mentally disabled children and adults who testify to sexual or violent crimes.
- HB 306, sponsored by Rep. Harry Shiver (R-Stockton), which eliminates the Baldwin County Commission of Barbers and places the occupation under the authority of the state board of cosmetologists and barbers
- SB 211, sponsored by Elliott and Rep. Alan Baker (R-Atmore), which requires boat owners to obtain a certificate of title.
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