4/2/2007 - April 2007 SLI Newsletter
Every year as the Alabama legislative session approaches, SLI is asked to draft or review proposed legislation. The bills we have reviewed have been many and varied through the years. Most often, they deal with individual liberties and freedoms, and religious, abortion, gambling, and other moral issues.
As you know from past reports, it has been difficult to pass such legislation. For example, it took thirteen years to get the Woman's Right to Know Act passed. Those senators and representatives who sponsor such legislation usually find themselves shut out of the very legislative process for which they have been elected.
This month, we make a frank assessment of the legislative situation. We foresee significant problems. Regardless, we will draft and review legislation, testify and provide legal advice and assessment. We do not despair. As Alabama Baptist Executive Director Dr. Rick Lance recently said when referring to turmoil in the Middle East, our hope is in Jesus Christ. We cannot know or predict the outcome, but we do know our calling.
Two legislative bills on which we have been working call for recognition in public schools of the importance of the Bible. Neither bill would require devotionals or proselytizing which would make it unconstitutional. One bill would require teaching about our Christian heritage 30 minutes per day during the first week in November of each year. The other bill would make teaching the historic and cultural aspects of the Bible an elective course in public schools. We will provide more information on these bills in the near future.
We recently advised a religious organization on the application of ad valorem tax, i.e., property tax. Many churches and organizations are not sure of applicable tax laws. Please contact us if you have questions.
Finally, as we begin the legislative season, we will dedicate much time and resources in preparing for, attending and participating in the process. This means time away from our daily income producing private practice of law. Please remember to support us financially and prayerfully. We are grateful for your support.
Yours very truly,
A. Eric Johnston
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