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Alabama State Capital

February 4, 1861

Legislative Report


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 2011 Alabama State Legislature convened in mid January and ended in mid June of this year.


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.

Read our lobbyist's full report by clicking here.

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 Smart Alabama.

2008 Legislative Report -- April 26, 2008.  We can now call the 2008 legislative session.  It is 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.


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 lending legislation.

  • 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."


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,  Borrow Smart

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 just amazing.

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 Borrow Smart).  With the advent of Borrow 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 hard.


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 here and here.  If 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.

Thank You!!

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 available.

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 Appleseed and 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:

  • Statewide database

  • Reduction in interest

  • Elimination of roll-overs

  • Extended payment plan

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 weeks ahead. 

SB119 Barron

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)

SB121 Byrne

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 act)

SB120 Barron

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 legislation.

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.

Current Initiatives

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.


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