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2018 Legislative Session - Bills Impacting Pharmacy

 

HB61/SB32 – Under existing law, the Alabama State Board of Pharmacy is responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy and the management and operation of pharmacies in the state. This bill would require outsourcing facilities to annually register with the board by application for a permit.

SB105 - This bill would propose an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to repeal Amendment 225 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 211.04 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to limit the state income tax deduction for federal income taxes for individual taxpayers; to exempt sales of food and over-the-counter drugs from state sales tax; and to prohibit local governments from levying separate sales taxes only on the sale of food or over-the-counter drugs.

HB84/SB39 - This bill would add certain named chemical compounds of Fentanyl and synthetic controlled substance Fentanyl analogues to Schedule I of the controlled substance list. Possession, distribution, and trafficking of these compounds would be deemed unlawful, and violations would be subject to the existing criminal penalties, as well as enhanced penalties, for distribution.

SB67 – Existing law provides for a refund to pharmaceutical service providers for overpayment of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services paid by those providers in the form of a credit against future taxes. This bill would authorize the Department of Revenue, upon petition by a pharmaceutical service provider who is entitled to a credit of the supplemental privilege tax on pharmaceutical services and has unused credit remaining after October 1, 2018, to refund the provider the remaining credit.

SB144 - Under existing law, the State Board of Pharmacy is responsible for the licensing and regulation of pharmacists. This bill would provide further for the employment of an executive secretary and would require the board to establish minimum eligibility requirements for the executive secretary. This bill would require any attorney employed by the board to possess a pharmacy degree and be in good standing with the state bar association. This bill would also require the board to furnish the executive secretary and any attorney employed by the board with sufficient office space and office equipment.

SB155 – Under Leni’s Law, cannabidiol, a compound derived from marijuana, may be used to treat certain debilitating medical conditions. This bill would review the definition of cannabidiol.

 

Session Gets Under Way

 

On Tuesday, January 9th, Alabama lawmakers returned to the statehouse in Montgomery to begin the 2018 Regular Legislative Session. They will convene a total of thirty meeting days within 105 calendar days. All indication is that this will be a short session focused on two major topics, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the AL prison system. The state is faced with a ruling from a federal judge calling the mental health care in AL prisons “horrendously inadequate.” The Department of Corrections has requested a $30 million supplement to this year’s budget and a $50 million increase the following year.

Speaker McCutcheon has stated the legislature will help fund CHIP if Congress fails to do so. Current funding for the program is expected to be depleted in March without action from Congress. “A lot of kids in this state depend on that program for their medical care and we have to make sure that we subsidize whatever we have to keep the program going,” said McCutcheon.

Senator Del Marsh of Anniston, leader of the 26 Republicans who control the 35-member Senate, said that although the session can last three-and-a-half months, he expects a quicker finish. “The expectation is to get finished with the session as quickly as possible and allow people to get back to their districts, being an election year, so they can campaign and spend time in their districts,” said Marsh.

Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, also said it will be difficult to address controversial issues during an election year.

Governor Kay Ivey delivered her first State of the State Address Tuesday evening and laid out her proposed General Fund budget for FY19. 

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