Bill would credit workers’ comp for damages recovered from the employers’ uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance

Legislation introduced this week specifies that if an injured employee or their dependents recover damages from the employer’s uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage when an employee has been hurt or killed in a work-related vehicle accident, the amount is credited toward the employer’s workers’ compensation liability.

HB497 by Rep. Mike Kirkland, R-Scottsboro, also specifies that in settlements of claims against a third party, the employer’s share of the employee’s attorney fees should not include costs or expenses. The Alabama Retail Association supports this legislation.

Senate removes grants for downtown revitalization from supplemental appropriation
On May 4, the Alabama Senate cut $2 million in competitive grants for rural downtown revitalization and economic development from almost $3 billion in supplemental education appropriations.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, presented a floor substitute for SB87, which after making a couple of minor amendments, the Senate unanimously approved.  Senators reworked the appropriations to be more connected to schools and colleges than what the governor had proposed earlier.

The governor proposed appropriating $2 million for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for one-time expenses of the Main Street Program. The Senate cut the Main Street appropriation, a good chunk of tax rebates proposed by the governor as well as funding for other non-education items.

The House Ways and Means Education Committee will be next to consider the education supplemental appropriation. That committee has yet to consider the House version, HB174 by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville.

Bill would prohibit employer from asking a potential employee about wage history
Rep. Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, has introduced legislation – HB331 – that would prohibit an employer from requesting the wage history of a prospective employee or relying on wage history in determining wages for a potential hire. Alabama’s 2019 pay equity law, which Clarke also sponsored, prohibits employers from retaliating against or refusing to interview, hire or promote applicants who do not disclose their wage history. The House Commerce and Small Business Committee has yet to act on the bill.

Deduct sales tax from swipe fees
Sen. Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham, has introduced legislation requiring credit or debit card processors to either deduct or rebate state and local sales taxes and fees from credit/debit card swipe fees at the time of sale or transaction finalization. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee has yet to act on SB125.

Expanding Medicaid
Rep. Mary Moore, D-Birmingham, introduced HB374 to expand Medicaid to everyone to whom matching federal funds are available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.

Find other stories related to bill introductions at links below:

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