Legislation that would ensure that churches and businesses that follow COVID-19 guidelines during a pandemic can stay open passed the Senate Thursday. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman) and Representative Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville).

“This has been an extremely difficult year for people across our state," said Gudger. "Many Alabamians have suffered from and even lost loved ones from this virus, people have had to go extended periods of times without seeing loved ones, schools have been cancelled, and many parts of life that we hold dear have been put on hold.

He said one of the most disappointing aspects of the pandemic is seeing small businesses and churches have to close their doors while businesses such as Walmart and liquor stores remained open.

“This legislation ensures that small businesses in future pandemics won’t be told that they aren’t essential enough to stay open while others are. I appreciate my colleagues in the Senate and the House for working together in a bipartisan way to get this bill passed. The people of Cullman have asked for it. The people of Alabama have asked for it. And now Alabamians can rest assured that in any future public health outbreaks like this the people of our state are protected,” Gudger said.

“I was proud to see this important legislation I sponsored in the House pass the Senate today," said Kiel. "This bill creates a level playing field for all businesses so that if one business can be open under certain guidelines that are sent down by the governor, then all businesses could be open under those same guidelines.” 

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