Legislative Wrap-Up: Marijuana Penalties, Religious Daycares, and Execution Methods
State lawmakers debated a controversial measure this week that would ease the penalties for marijuana possession. Currently, a person arrested for possession of marijuana can be convicted of a felony if they have one prior marijuana possession conviction, regardless of the amount. Sen. Dick Brewbaker proposed a bill that would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana punishable by a fine instead of jail time. An offense would be a step below a misdemeanor, and carry a fine of up to $250.
And for prison inmates on death row, lawmakers discussed another possible alternative to execution — nitrogen gas. But first, Alabama Public Television’s Don Dailey talks with WBHM’s Gigi Douban about a measure sponsored by Rep. Pebblin Warren that aims to make faith-based child care centers safer. The bill would regulate religious day cares, even as they remain exempt from state licensing requirements.
Last year, we talked with Reveal reporter Amy Julia Harris, who investigated incidents of abuse and neglect at Alabama’s religious child care centers.
WBHM's Gigi Douban speaks with Don Dailey, co-host of Alabama Public Television's Capitol Journal, every Friday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered as we discuss the big state legislative news of the week.
Gas Tax Increase a Political Win for Ivey
It’s been a great week for Gov. Kay Ivey. Her proposed 10-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax increase passed overwhelmingly. The money will go toward infrastructure improvements.
Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Arm Teachers
This school shooting in Parkland, Florida this week that left 17 people dead took center stage for Alabama lawmakers. On Thursday, Republican state Representative Will Ainsworth announced plans to introduce legislation that would allow teachers to carry firearms during school hours. The law would require training.
Historic Monuments Bill Passes, City Council Raises Blocked
This week in the Alabama legislature, the Senate voted to block a big pay raise for the next Birmingham City Council. And after hours of heated debate Thursday, lawmakers in the Alabama House passed the controversial historic monuments bill.