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Alabama House Votes to Give DOI More Arrest Powers, Longer Statute of Limitations *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 26, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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The long arm of the Alabama Department of Insurance may be about to get a little longer, after the state House of Representatives approved bills that would exempt the department from sunset law provisions and would grant department investigators more law enforcement powers.

House Bill 140, sponsored by state Rep. Corley Ellis, R-Columbian, would allow department investigators to arrest people suspected of engaging in crimes – even those not related to insurance fraud – with or without an arrest warrant. Existing state law limits DOI investigative personnel to arrests that pertain only to insurance law violations.

Ellis

Ellis told local news media that other crimes that DOI may encounter include identity theft, elder abuse or theft of property. He did not say why the change was needed at this time, but the bill passed without opposition.

Significantly, HB 140 also extends the statute of limitations on insurance crimes, from two years to seven years. The state Senate has read the bill twice, meaning it should come up for a floor vote soon.

HB 139, also by Ellis, removes DOI from the four-year legislative review and reauthorization statute known as the Alabama Sunset Law of 1981. Most state agencies have to be reauthorized by the Legislature every few years.

The bill passed the House 98-1 and now goes to the Senate.

Topics
Alabama

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