September 2023 Legislative Summary
From Rep. Matt Simpson, Chairman of the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation
I would imagine that few people reading this column have ever heard of the topic I’ll be talking with you about this month here – the Joint Sunset Committee.
As your representative, I am proud to have a seat on this committee that surprisingly touches tens of thousands of lives throughout the state, traditionally having had a very low public profile despite it having a meaningful impact across our state.
The Joint Sunset Committee is tasked with examining and reviewing the various boards and commissions that are in charge of licensing and regulations for dozens of professions in our state – everything from electricians and HVAC contractors to barbers and cosmetologists, from athletic trainers and counselors to realtors and psychologists. It certainly runs the gamut from A to Z, no doubt.
As legislators on this committee, we are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing these boards’ actions, including studying the license fees they charge and how and where that money is spent.
When we’re talking about the hard-earned money of tens of thousands of Alabama workers, we owe it to each and every one of them to make certain we are being diligent in our efforts to be good stewards of those funds and not be afraid to ask questions when we see actions taken by these boards and commissions that don’t seem to make sense.
Under the leadership of my friend and Mobile County Legislative Delegation Chairwoman Margie Wilcox, our committee members have been working hard to dive into these boards and their actions to get to the heart of the matter on some actions being taken that were downright strange.
Case in point, one board had been collecting a $75 provisional license fee for years – despite being told many years ago it did not have the legal authority to collect that fee.
Obviously, we had some serious questions about that, and that fee has now been eliminated thanks to our efforts as a committee. And we’re just getting started.
Our responsibility is to look out for our people, to make sure these groups are following the laws because the last thing we need is some rogue board charging an absurd fee that they don’t have the authority to do and then have all those fees go into the pockets of some nameless administrator or company.
We owe it to the people of Alabama to continue to look out for their interests in this and that is what we certainly will continue to do.
If you have any questions or concerns or comments or want to raise an issue … or if you just need to talk about something, that’s what we’re here for, so please reach out and give me a call or shoot me an email.
Matt Simpson is the Chairman of the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation and represents District 96 in the Alabama House of Representatives. He can be reached at [email protected].
Where We Meet
The Gift Horse Restaurant
209 W. Laurel Ave., Foley, AL 36535
Meetings are usually the fourth Tuesday of each month (except November and December).
11:00 AM - Meet and Greet with our members
11:30 AM - Buffet Lunch ($13 cash/check)
(Credit cards are accepted and include a convenience fee - $14)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Speaker and Business meeting