Retail Report: 2020 session begins amid ‘best’ and ‘worse’ times

The Alabama Legislature began its 2020 regular session this week in the “best of times” economically, yet the “worst of times” as a federal takeover of Alabama’s prisons looms.

Coming up with an “Alabama solution” to overcrowded prisons will consume much of the legislators’ time. The state also will experience a statewide primary and the beginning of a critical census count in the first month of the three-month session, bringing added pressures to bear.

Although not part of criminal justice recommendations from a study group, legislation already has been introduced to increase Alabama’s felony theft threshold and create a separate crime for shoplifting.

Doing away with Alabama’s sales tax on groceries also was among the more than 350 bills introduced in the first week.

Your Alabama Retail Association will keep you informed throughout the session as these and other issues of interest to retailers arise. Keep reading for this week’s top stories.

For legislative and other news of relevance to retailers,
read This Week in Retail News.


Lawmaker wants to raise felony threshold by 200%, not recommended by prison study group (

Bill to make shoplifting a separate crime in Alabama back on table (

No Alabama representatives vote for radical PRO Act intended to boost unions; U.S. Senate expected to reject (

Two approaches to removing sales tax on food introduced (

Lawmakers propose reinforcing federal Nicotine 21 purchase age with Alabama law; feds now enforcing limits on flavored vapes (

House next stop for bill requiring legislative approval for new city occupational taxes (

In committee next week: E-verify revision, defining self-serve food/vending/micro-markets and fee increases for fireworks (

Small farm winery and drive-through windows for off-premise alcohol sales among introductions (

ARA President Rick Brown’s goals for session: Keep businesses open and economy strong (

Text of Gov. Kay Ivey’s 2020 State of the State Address: Lottery study, $1B school bond, pay raises, mental health centers and new prisons (

Failure of everyone to be counted in U.S. Census could cost Alabama a congressional seat and influence (

Post OSHA 300a injury/illness summary for 2019 now; submit electronically by March 2 (

New unemployment compensation law now in effect (

Previous Alabama Retail Reports


Find Your Lawmaker

2020 Legislative Roster