Compared to recent years, the Alabama Legislature's 2018 session has been free of drama. The last two days of meetings might change that.

Leadership wants the final 48 hours of the session to focus on the education budget and mostly minor pieces of legislation.

"If we finish up next week, it's because the budgets are complete, all the major legislation is complete, all the issues we think are important to the people of this state are complete," Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said Thursday. "If that's the case, we're going to save the taxpayers a couple hundred thousand dollars and go home."

But if leaders hope for a quiet coda before a scheduled departure Wednesday, two measures might lead to a noisy finale.

Senate leaders face a rebellion from Republicans and Democrats over a bill that would allow "economic development professionals" exemptions from lobbying requirements. In the House, the chamber's rejection Thursday of a racial profiling bill that would collect data on traffic stops -- and does not provide any penalties for those engaged in racial profiling -- led to a filibuster from Democrats, who have promised to stay on it if negotiations over a compromise fail to move.

"When you vote against a bill that simply collects data on who is being stopped, why they're being stopped and who stops them -- I just think there's something wrong with that," said Rep. Merika Coleman, D-Pleasant Grove, on Thursday. "It's so simple. We're just trying to identify bad actors. We have to collect the data."

The economic developer bill, which drew opposition over language senators consider too broad, will change before it gets to the Senate floor. It's unknown how much it will change, and whether changes will appease critics, who want the bill to limit the lobbying exemptions to a small class of site selectors.

"There's enough wrong with this bill that, I'll be honest, they've got one chance to fix it," Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road, said Friday. "If they introduce a substitute that's more of a bait and switch, I don't think anything they do after that is going to give us the confidence to vote on it."

Education budget

The $6.6 billion education budget has passed bothchambers but still needs the stamp of a conference committee before heading to Gov. Kay Ivey.

In its broadest form, the proposed Education Trust Fund has run into relatively little friction through the process. The ETF is the largest in a decade, provides a 2.5 percent pay raise to education employees, a bonus for retirees and funding increases for programs, including the Alabama Reading Initiative, pre-kindergarten, transportation and schoolroom supplies.

The disputes may occur over smaller details. The budget only passed out of the Senate this month after senators agreed to an additional $1.2 million in funding for Alabama State University, which Brewbaker and Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said the university needed to make up for damage done to the institution by an open-ended audit that found no instances of wrongdoing.

That increase led to some questions in the House, chiefly from Rep. Laura Hall, D-Huntsville over funding for Alabama A&M. House Ways and Means Education chair Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, also said he had concerns about the Senate reducing some of the increases the House approved.

Ivey signed the $2.1 billion General Fund budget and a 3 percent pay raise for state employees last week.

Racial profiling

The Senate this month approved a bill from Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, that would ban racial profiling and direct law enforcement to collect data on traffic stops to get a sense of the extent of the problem. Supporters say it will also give a lift to law enforcement that does not engage in the practice.

The bill is now in the House of Representatives' hands. The chamber's handling of the legislation could mean the difference between an easy conclusion and a difficult one.

Smitherman's legislation made it to the House floor on Thursday night, but the Republican-majority chamber rejected an effort to bring the measure up for a vote, mostly along party lines. Democrats say if the bill stalls, the session will, too.

"I believe in the process, and we'll use the process," Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, said on Friday. "It's a very important bill to the caucus."

The minority caucus plans to meet with House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia and Republican legislators Tuesday morning about possible changes to the bill. The legislation will reappear on a House calendar Tuesday.

McCutcheon, a retired law enforcement officer, voted against the bill Thursday but said afterward he wanted it to include more kinds of data. And, the speaker said, he wants to tackle the issue this year.

"Traffic stops need to be part of it, personal contacts need to be involved in it," he said. "But I think we need to go a step further and look at reasons for the stops."

Coleman said the bill needs to move, and said the House vote Thursday would reinforce negative images of Alabama around the country.

"We have a beautiful state, but there are still folks who think we're in 1955, that we have separate water fountains or go to separate schools," she said. "A vote on a bill like feeds in the national perception of what's going on in the state of Alabama."

Economic developers

If the racial profiling bill doesn't cause the wheels to come off this week, the economic developer bill could step in to loosen some lug nuts.

Sponsored by Rep. Ken Johnson, R-Moulton, the bill would allow "economic development professionals" to get exemptions from laws requiring lobbyists to register. Those who worked full time on economic development would get the exemption. Those who work "part time" on economic development or trade issues could apply to the Ethics Commission for individual exemptions.

Supporters argue currently rules on lobbying registration are too broad, and that requiring people who work on economic development to register could make it difficult to conduct confidential negotiations with firms that might consider locating in Alabama.

But opponents object to the broad definition of economic development professional and the allowance of exemptions for part-time people. Brewbaker said Friday he would only support the bill if the law limited the exemption to site selectors, a small class of workers.

"But I don't think they have any intention to do that," he said. "I think they want to pretend 'economic developer' and 'site selector' are interchangeable. They're not."

The opposition from Brewbaker and other senators led to a delay in consideration of the bill Thursday. Marsh said after the Senate adjourned that a substitute would go to Republican members of the Senate -- who hold 26 of the body's 35 seats -- at a caucus meeting on Tuesday. If they agree to the substitute, he said, it will go to the Senate floor.

"Some of their issues have been addressed, others are already being addressed," Marsh said.

Stand Your Ground in Church

The Senate also faces a potential filibuster over one of the few gun bills to make it through the legislative process this year. Sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, the bill would explicitly extend the state's 2006 Stand Your Ground law to churches. It would allow people to use physical force against anyone committing a crime, attempting a crime or attacking an employee, volunteer or members of the church.

Supporters of the bill invoked the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015 and in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last year.

"It's just something I think will make people feel better at church," Greer said Thursday.

But not everyone. Singleton planned to filibuster the bill Thursday, noting -- like other critics -- that the victims in Charleston had their heads bowed in prayer, and had no chance to defend themselves even if they had guns. Singleton also raised concerns about church staff using guns to settle internal scores.

"I really have bad feelings about this," Singleton said. "I can hear these same arguments go to the schools, too."

It's also not clear that existing law doesn't already extend to churches.

"I question that it does anything," Marsh said. "Some people argue that people do it anyway right now. If it comes back up and they want to pass it, that's fine."