Scroll Down To
Read All Stories & Or
Click Here For The
Important Weekly Lobbyist Reports
Updated July 16, 2011
Click here to see today's update.
The Alabama legislature
normally convenes around the first of February and formally ends in mid
May (except in an election year). While they are in session they meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays
which are considered legislative days. Normally, Wednesdays are
reserved for committee hearings. While the legislature is in session we will post
information regarding legislation activities that might affect our
industry. We will post information on this page and at the News page
of this site. The News will be updated more
frequently for pending bills or legislation.
THE CURRENT SESSION -- 2011 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The 2011 Alabama State Legislature convened in mid January and ended in
mid June of this year.
VISIT THE ALABAMA LEGISLATIVE WEB SITE TO SEE BILLS
You can visit the Alabama Legislative System for an update of all bills by
following these instructions: 1) Click
here. 2) Next, click on Bills in the upper left corner. 3) Then, click
on Status under Bills and put in the bill number (i.e., SB501) and click
Get Status. You should see a description of the bill.
2011 LEGISLATIVE REPORT & UPDATE
DIRECT FROM OUR LOBBYIST. This
report represents an incredible 11th straight year with no
negative industry legislation passed and an even more remarkable third consecutive year
where no legislation was even introduced or planned. Please
understand these accomplishments do not happen accidentally. They
are the result of a very significant effort by our members and our
lobbyist working together for the protection of our industry.
There were a couple of industry related issues that we attempted to
pass, but were not successful. We will work at it again next hear.
our lobbyist's full report by
2010 LEGISLATIVE REPORTS & UPDATES
DIRECT FROM OUR LOBBYIST.
Listed below are legislative reports from our lobbyist, Michael
Sullivan. As this is written (March 30, 2010) we are winding down this
current legislative session and are now going into our
second straight year where absolutely no
legislation has been introduced against our industry!
Zip-zero-nada! Look around the country and we believe you will find this
to be an incredible feat -- but clearly not an accident or by luck.
See this story as just one
example of our "industry protection" program at work.
Please note the reference to our bill in the reports below to resolve the disparity between
our industry and other consumer lending companies in connection with
vehicle sales. This is
SB498 and it has a high likelihood of passing in this session.
If so, it will take away many regulatory, licensing and tax headaches
for us that have been around for years.
2009 LEGISLATIVE REPORTS & UPDATES
DIRECT FROM OUR LOBBYIST. As we receive legislative
reports from our lobbyist, Michael Sullivan, we will post the reports
below. These will be reports direct from Michael. Any
comments or observations we may have will be posted below or at the
News page. If you have questions or
comments regarding the reports, please
click here and drop us an email.
May 1, 2009: We are still exceedingly proud to report
that not a single bill has been introduced in the Alabama Legislature
against our industry in this session -- which is now over for all practical
purposes. This is unprecedented in our state! See
more in the March 31 comment below.
March 31, 2009: We are proud to report that for
the first time in many years, there is no legislation against our
industry. Zero, None! That is an incredible achievement when
you look around at the many other states around the country and you look
at Washington DC. Think (thank) TPCA, Michael Sullivan and Borrow
2008 Legislative Report -- April
26, 2008. We can now call the 2008 legislative session.
OVER. The networks make their early calls on
elections, so we are doing the same for this legislative session.
It will not officially end for a few more weeks, but this is it.
Below is a full report, so read on.
WHAT WERE THE THREATS AGAINST US THIS YEAR?
This is what we faced at the beginning of this legislative session:.
The State Banking Department planned a massive re-write in the title
pawn statute and they wanted significant changes in payday
Several legislative groups mulled over both title and payday
legislation that would have been adverse to us.
Senator Barron actually introduced legislation for changes in payday
lending. That legislation will not pass this year.
Any one of these three had the potential to severely cripple the way we
operate and possibly end our business as we know it. If you doubt this
potential reality, look at the following states: FL, GA, NM, NC, VA, DC, NH, OH, AR, OR, SC
(SC is home of Advance America). What do all of these states have that
we don't have? The industry has been totally eliminated or come
under serious threats in each case. That is serious threat as in
"killed or seriously wounded."
HOW DID WE DODGE THE BULLET?
In each of the threats we faced at the beginning of our session we were actively engaged. We were not
sitting on the sidelines waiting for something to happen. We were
intimately involved in each issue both directly and
in the public arena through our new affiliate,
As an example, in the
State Banking situation we met with State Banking on several occasions
to discuss their proposed legislation. We established a dialog
with them and we made offers. We also pointed out that we were in
a position to influence legislation both in the legislature and in the
media. Not in one or the other, but both. We believe they
understood and they ultimately decided to drop the issues. We also believe they will be back next year!
If you look across the nation, Alabama is one of the few states, maybe
the only state, with no major legislative changes in the last ten years
except for deferred deposit legislation, which was positive. Do
you think maybe this might be an accident or just plain luck?
Maybe it is luck, but we sure don't think so. Have you ever noticed how good
luck seems to happen to those who work hard and work smart. It is
Our associations have worked hard and smart with an incredible team to
protect our interest: Leading with Michael Sullivan, The Lobbyist Group, Jeff
Ingram, Galese & Ingram and Robin Oliver, Big Communications (through
Smart). With the advent of
Smart last year we just kicked up our protection level another
notch. You can read the full Borrow
Smart report here.
Cleary, politics is about power and those who have it use it.
Given the choice of attacking a weak opponent or a strong, powerful opponent, who
do you think is going to be thrashed first? So, if we want to
remain strong we must continue to work smart and work hard through our
associations. Not one or the other, but both -- smart and
WHAT'S UP NEXT?
It is way too early to tell. But one thing you can count on, our
adversaries will be back. Our adversaries come in all sizes and
shapes. There are many to choose from. Some have had
tremendous successes in other states and sooner or later will show up
here again. Our adversaries are stronger than ever. If you
doubt it go
they decide killing our industry is more important and that we are an easier
mark compared to their other more difficult targets and issues, we can count on
them to come after us. But remember, they all want to win so they
will be thinking long and hard about an opponent that is well heeled and
powerful. We don't really want a hard fight, but we are ready
with more tools than ever before and more than about any other state if and when
they show up.
In closing we are deeply indebted to many people for our success.
Two members of our professional team who did so much to make this
another winning legislative session for us stand out -- Michael
Sullivan, The Lobbyist Group and Robin Oliver, at Big Communications.
We are also indebted to all of our members who made all of this
possible. They made very significant contributions so this could
happen for the entire industry.
Everyone worked hard and worked smart and without them all we would not
be around to write and to read this report.
2007 Legislative Session Is History.
Part II -- June 20, 2007. As a follow-up to our last
report (below) we have posted Michael Sullivan's final legislative
report for the session. Click
here to read all about the punches thrown on the floor of the
Alabama Senate and how it unfolded. Whoever said politics is not a
"blood sport" sure got it wrong on that day! Just ask Senator Barron.
2007 Legislative Session Is History.
It is Over!! -- June 12, 2007. This legislative session
for us now belongs to the history books. What started out with a
bang ended with a "blow."
We clearly dodged the bullets this year thanks to the Senate shut down.
At the beginning of the session, there were three bills which would have
killed title and payday lending. A study group was formed in the
Senate that included the Senators involved, the industry and several
adversary groups. As it turns out, Michael Sullivan, our lobbyist,
met with the study group for several weeks. When Senator Byrne
moved to another job, the momentum for the bills stopped. BUT, they will
continue to meet over the summer. We fully expect them to come back
early next session with similar legislation. But, for now, we have
the green light for several months. Thanks to everyone who
supported us. Your support keeps all of our doors open -- one
legislative session at a time.
Legislative Session Is About
Two-Thirds Over -- May 3, 2007. This legislative
session is almost two-thirds complete (as of next week). So far,
we have done fairly well. We can thank the Alabama Senate, which
has been shut down for most of the session, and our industry lobbying
efforts (Michael Sullivan and others) for this. We are,
however, still sitting on a powder keg. If the Senate begins
working on legislation the bills below are sure to begin to move.
It is almost inconceivable what our situation would be today if we did
not have our representation in Montgomery! We can thank all of our
TPCA members for this effort and we can thank Michael Sullivan for
staying on top of these important issues for us.
HB-769 Has Been Introduced To
Require Pictures On All Pawn Transactions -- May 1, 2007.
HB-769 has been introduced. At the moment we do not have much
information on this legislation other than the bill. You can click
here to read the
bill. We will provide more information on this bill as it becomes
May 1, PM Update. We have not yet been able
to determine who is behind this legislation. The bill was
reassigned to the Banking Committee today. Apparently it was
assigned to Commerce in error. More later.
May 3, PM Update. We now have more
information about the sponsors and the intent of this bill. It
seems the push for this bill is not from our traditional adversaries but
most likely from law enforcement or from someone who wishes to tighten
up on all pawned merchandise. This bill will probably not be heard
in this session.
May 15, Update. Michael Sullivan
reports that the study committee had their final meeting of the session
today. As we reported last week, with Senator Byrne moving to a
new job, the momentum for this bill died. At the moment, we do not
expect any further action during this session.
Don't celebrate quite yet, though. The opponents want to meet over
the summer to discuss the issues which they plan to push for during the
next legislative session. The opponents are
Alabama Arise. Both are quite strong and potentially lethal
opponents with very deep pockets.
Here are the goals they want to discuss over the summer:
Expect these to be a top priority in the next session.
<<<Back to Top
Three Bills Are Introduced Against
The Industry In The Very First Week Of The Session -- March 10, 2007.
Three bills were introduced in the first week of this session: SB229,
SB121 & SB120. SB121 & SB120 will eliminate the
payday and title industry in Alabama. Below is a summary of the bills.
If you wish to see the bills, see the instructions above to visit the
Alabama Legislative System. We expect there may be more bills in the
Deferred presentment services, payday loans, consumer authorized to
rescind loan transaction, rollover loans, extended payment plans, deferred
presentment services transaction prohibited for military personnel, Secs.
5-18A-12, 5-18A-13 (reform proposals)
Loans, based on borrower giving post-dated check, Deferred Presentment
Services Act repealed, transactions regulated under Small Loan Act, Secs.
5-18A-1 to 5-18A-22, inclusive, repealed (regulated under the small loan
Motor vehicles, title loan business regulated under Small Loan Act,
removed from Pawnshop Act, Sec. 5-19A-2. (regulate title pawn under the
small loan act)
May 10, Update. Click on
news for the latest good news on this
2006 Legislative Session Is
Now History -- May 18, 2006
It is over! During this session we
had one bill introduced (see SB501 below) that would have been
devastating to us. Michael Sullivan, our lobbyist, was
quick to respond. It is probably not dead and we may very well see
it again next session. Our motor vehicle revenue bill
died. (below HB191 & SB164 below). We need this bill and we pushed
hard, but there were a few legislators who were adamant this bill would
not pass. Why? Because we are the title loan industry (predatory,
etc.) and because it is an election year and they could pull it off.
SB501 -- State-wide
database and new fees - March 25, 2006.
Among other things, this bill
would create a state-wide title database, require reporting by
title pawn operators of every title loan
transaction and impose fees on title loans.
HB531 & SB322 -- Allow pawn
operators to sell "Auto Club" Memberships - March 25, 2006.
This is a change to the insurance statute that
will allow title pawn
operators to sell auto club memberships (similar to AAA).
Designated Agent Status For
Title Pawn Operators - March 25, 2006.
The Department of Motor
Vehicles will not establish title loan operators as Designated Agents.
This status is helpful in processing titles and allows access to
the state-wide title database. We
have had discussions with the State and they have agreed to reconsider
this prohibition later in the year when the new and improved online
title information database has been implemented.
HB191 & SB164 -- Motor
Vehicle Revenue Bill - January 21, 2006.
This bill, which we are promoting, provides our industry with the same
rights as banks and consumer finance companies when selling a
repossessed vehicle. The bill will clear up the ambiguity that
some at the State interpret to mean we are required to have a Motor
Vehicle Regulatory license in order
to sell or dispose of a vehicle. There are companion bills
HB191 and SB164.