(a) Whenever used in this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) GOVERNMENTAL CORPORATION AND AUTHORITY. Any public or private corporation, board, or authority established pursuant to a general or local law by state, county, or municipal government for the purpose of carrying out a specific governmental function.
(2) GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. The state, any municipality, or any county in the state; any department, agency, board, or commission of a municipality, a county, or the state; any legislative or regulatory body of the state, or of any municipality or county; any state, municipal, or county governmental corporation or authority; any state university or community college, including any publicly funded trade or technical school; the State Board of Education, and all county, municipal, and city-county public school boards; any state, county, or municipal hospital boards when such boards are instrumentalities of the state, municipality, or county or organized pursuant to authority from the state, a municipality, or a county; and any other boards, commissions, authorities, agencies, or associations authorized by statute to perform, administer, or oversee a governmental function.
(3) INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. Any person, firm, or agency, and any employee of such person, firm, or agency who is not a permanent full-time or part-time employee of the governmental entity, and does not appear on any permanent or regular employee rosters such as payroll, worker's compensation, Social Security, or other retirement or pension plan, but periodically provides services to a governmental entity or any official or employee thereof pursuant to a contractual arrangement and is paid by the governmental entity pursuant to the contractual arrangement or for services rendered or work and labor performed.
(4) LEGISLATIVE BODY. The Senate of Alabama, the House of Representatives of Alabama, a county commission, city council, city commission, town council, or municipal council or commission, and any committee or subcommittee thereof.
(5) PUBLIC EMPLOYEE. A person permanently employed full-time or part-time by a governmental entity or instrumentality thereof who is paid in whole or in part from state, county, or municipal funds. A public employee shall not include an independent contractor or any person providing services to a governmental entity or a public official or employee thereof pursuant to any type of written or oral contractual arrangement.
(6) PUBLIC OFFICIAL. Any person elected to public office, whether or not that person has taken office, by the vote of the people at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, and any person appointed to a position at the state, county, or municipal level of government or their instrumentalities, including governmental corporations and authorities and boards or commissions which fall under the definition of governmental entity.
(7) REGULATORY BODY. A state agency which issues regulations in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act or a state, county, or municipal department, agency, board, or commission which controls, according to rule or regulation, the activities, business licensure, or functions of any group, person, or persons.
(b)(1) No civil action, including, without limitation, any action for declaratory or injunctive relief, may be brought against any public official, public employee, governmental entity, governmental corporation or authority, legislative body, regulatory body, or independent contractor for actions attempting to fix the Y2K problem of an entity mentioned in subsection (a), and none of the aforementioned persons or entities shall be liable in damages, compensatory or punitive, for any failure or malfunction occurring before December 31, 2005, which is caused directly or indirectly by the failure of computer software or any device containing a computer processor to accurately or properly recognize, calculate, display, sort, or otherwise process dates or times, if the failure or malfunction causing the loss was unforeseeable or if the failure or malfunction causing the loss was foreseeable but the plan or design or both for identifying and preventing the failure or malfunction was prepared in substantial compliance with generally accepted computer and information system design standards in effect at the time of the preparation of the plan or design. Provided however, nothing contained in this section shall relieve any public official, public employee, or governmental entity from the performance of any statutory or administrative duties or obligations or from the payment of financial obligations. The immunity granted by this section shall be in addition to the sovereign immunity granted by Article I, Section 14, Constitution of Alabama of 1901, and the substantive immunity otherwise provided by Alabama law.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the governmental entity itself or public officials acting on the government's behalf from bringing an action for any compensatory or punitive damages which is permissible under current law.