Final week of the 2023 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

On Tuesday, the Alabama Legislature completed the 30th and final legislative day of the session. The chambers together introduced a total of 876 pieces of legislation, with 524 originating in the House and 352 in the Senate.

The House and Senate approved an amended version of Rep. Anthony Daniels’ overtime pay legislation, which includes an Executive Amendment to remove the $25 million cap added by the Senate last week. The $25 million cap was to be administered by the Department of Revenue, but the agency raised concerns regarding its ability to track when the cap was reached. As a result, Governor Kay Ivey proposed an Executive Amendment to remove the cap and add reporting requirements to determine if any modifications need to be made in the next legislative session. The amendment was introduced and approved in the Senate and concurred upon in the House.

In its final form, HB217 does not enact a cap on individuals or the program in its entirety and establishes a sunset date of 2025, which will allow lawmakers one and a half years to review the process and address any necessary issues at that time. Rep. Daniels’ legislation was sent to the Governor for her signature.

BCA worked closely with legislative leadership to ensure the work conducted this session yielded successful results for Alabama’s business community. Our collaboration resulted in a major victory with the enactment of a historic pro-jobs, pro-growth package of legislation known as “The Game Plan.” These economic incentives will safeguard our ability to remain highly competitive with neighboring states for high-paying jobs and game-changing investment projects, securing Alabama’s economic future for generations to come.

We appreciate the willingness of House, Senate, and Executive leadership to work alongside the BCA team and put millions of working Alabamians at the forefront of their efforts. We look forward to our continued work together in the future.

The legislature is expected to return for the 2024 regular session on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.

BCA Government Affairs Issues Briefings have officially concluded. Thank you to all who attended the issues briefings this session. We look forward to next year and hope to see all of you in the first floor auditorium during the 2024 legislative session. To watch our issues briefings from the 2023 legislative session, click here.

Session Interview

BCA Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs David Cole discussed highlights of the 2023 legislative session and emphasized wins for Alabama’s business community.

BCA Bills of Interest

BCA-Supported Legislation Passed by the House and Senate:

HB1American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding
Sponsor: Rep. Rex Reynolds
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: This bill allocates $1.1 billion in federal funding made available to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in 2021. HB1 includes funding for broadband expansion, water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and support for our healthcare system for communities across the state. 

SB1Debt Repayment to Alabama Trust Fund
Sponsor: Sen. Greg Albritton
Status: Signed by Governor 

Additional Information: This bill approves a $60 million final payment to the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) – a state fund established by voters. Totaling $59,997,772, this legislation pays off all remaining debts ahead of time to the ATF, which is required by the People’s Trust Act to be repaid in full by 2033. These funds are made available through state dollars, not federal ARPA funding.

HB77 Red Tape Reduction Act
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: Under current law, every business in Alabama that generates a monthly average of $5,000 or more in sales tax must make estimated monthly tax payments the following year. This bill raises the threshold to $20,000, which would reduce “red tape” for more than 3,000 small businesses in the state. 

SB104 Dram Shop
Sponsor: Sen. Chris Elliott/Rep. David Faulkner
Status: Signed by Governor 

Additional Information: Existing law provides that any seller or furnisher of alcoholic beverages, such as a bar, restaurant, or retail store, can be held liable for civil damages suffered by an individual who is injured by an intoxicated customer or patron of the seller or furnisher. This bill creates a wider standard, with a server having to knowingly serve a visibly intoxicated person, and for that service to be the proximate cause of injury or death. This is in line with what other states require, brings fairness to restaurant and bar owners, and should help drive down the cost of liquor liability insurance. 

SB151 Transparency in Incentives Act 
Sponsor: Sen. Garlan Gudger/Rep. Cynthia Almond
Status: Signed by Governor 

Additional Information: Play 4 of “The Game Plan” amends the Jobs Act to require the Alabama Department of Commerce to publish certain incentivized project information on its website. Information for each incentivized project includes the name of the company, the estimated capital investment, the number of jobs being created, an estimated hourly wage, the estimated value of the incentives, and the project’s location. 

SB165Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act 
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr/Rep. Danny Garrett
Status: Signed by Governor  

Additional Information: Play 2 of “The Game Plan” allows SIDA to facilitate the development of industry-ready sites and expands SIDA’s role in the preparation of industrial sites to accelerate their creation. This legislation also allows SIDA to issue grants to stimulate the creation of sites.

SB159 Protection for Road Builders
Sponsor: Sen. Clay Scofield/Rep. David Faulkner
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: This bill offers additional protections for civil lawsuits against road builders in Alabama.

HB217 Overtime Pay
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: This bill removes the state income tax on overtime pay for Alabama workers.  

HB241Enhancing Alabama’s Economic Progress Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett/Sen. Greg Reed
Status: Signed by Governor 

Additional Information: Play 1 of “The Game Plan” renews and enhances the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama program, while extending their sunset dates to 2028. This legislation increases the Job’s Acts incentives cap by $25 million annually for five years, ensuring Alabama remains competitive for mega projects. Additionally, this legislation increases funding for site development to $35 million to encourage development of new shovel-ready sites amid a shortage here in the state. 

HB247Innovation and Small Business Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels/Sen. Bobby Singleton
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: Play 3 of “The Game Plan” accelerates growth in Alabama’s innovation economy and supports underrepresented businesses and enterprises in rural areas. This bill establishes the Alabama Small Business Credit with the transfer of tax credits for accelerators and support for underrepresented businesses that operate in innovative industries to Innovate Alabama. It also makes $25 million per year available for the Innovating Alabama Tax Credit to meet increasing demands as new tech accelerators begin operations and programs for small businesses in innovative industries that are developed across the state. 

SB292 Streamline Sales and Use Tax Exemption Process
Sponsor: Rep. Dan Roberts
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill cuts red tape for nonprofits, charities, and other tax-exempt entities by streamlining the process for contractors to purchase supplies and materials to be used on construction projects for those entities. It does not create any new tax exemptions; it simply expands the current process already utilized by government entities and their contractors.

HB293 Ports of Alabama Incentives
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill revises the structure of the amount of credits that may be claimed and expands the credit to allow port users to claim a jobs tax credit if the user increases their cargo base volume.

HB378 Brownfield Redevelopment
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown/Sen. Rodger Smitherman
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: This bill provides for the creation of Brownfield redevelopment districts to further provide for the remediation and ultimate reuse of Brownfields.

Other Bills of Interest:

HB188 Anti-ESG
Sponsor: Rep. Chip Brown
Status: Not considered on House floor

Additional Information: This bill prohibits the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria when awarding a public contract and requires a responsible bidder, as a condition of being awarded a public contract, to certify, under penalty of perjury, that its employees will not be subject to a personal ESG rating as a basis of hiring, firing, or evaluation.

Sponsor: Sen. Tom Butler
Status: Not considered on Senate floor

Additional Information: This bill allows a pharmacist to refuse service to a customer if the pharmacist believes the reimbursement they would receive for a drug is insufficient. It also permits a pharmacist to recommend a customer switch to a different, more costly drug that the pharmacist would make more profit on — ultimately costing the health plan and customer more money. 

SB261 Anti-ESG
Sponsor: Sen. Dan Roberts
Status: Signed by Governor  

Additional Information: This bill prohibits a governmental entity from entering a public contract with certain companies or businesses that engage in the economic boycott of businesses in certain sectors and industries; that fail to meet or commit to meet certain environmental standards; that fail to meet or commit to meet certain corporate governance criteria; or that fail to facilitate certain activities.

HB270 Scrap Metal
Sponsor: Rep. Shane Stringer
Status: Carried over in House Committee on Ports, Waterways & Intermodal Transit

Additional Information: This bill prohibits the establishment or expansion of junkyards in certain circumstances.

HB298 Adult Content Filter
Sponsor: Rep. Chris Sells
Status: Passed in House; not considered on Senate floor

Additional Information: This bill requires all smartphones and tablets sold in Alabama to have an adult content filter enabled upon purchase, with violations constituting a civil penalty of up to $50,000 for the device’s manufacturer.

SB299 Sunset on Tax Incentive Programs
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr
Status: Awaiting Governor’s signature

Additional Information: This bill establishes a sunset date for current and future tax incentive programs and provides required guidelines for all new incentive legislation.

HB379 Alabama Property Protection Act
Sponsor: Rep. Scott Stadthagen
Status: Signed by Governor

Additional Information: This bill would prohibit certain governments or governmental entities from acquiring certain property in Alabama.

HB389/SB328 988 Crisis Care Hotline
Sponsor: Rep. Rex Reynolds/Sen. Garlan Gudger
Status: Carried over at the call of the chair; not considered on Senate floor

Additional Information: This bill adds a surcharge of 98 cents per month to all mobile communication in the state to fund the 988 Crisis System of Care.

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