The Alabama House of Representatives today passed Governor Kay Ivey’s Rebuild Alabama Infrastructure Plan, a three-bill package sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa. The legislation will provide much needed additional funding to enhance and improve Alabama’s transportation system at both the state and local levels.
Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt today issued the following statement commending members of the Alabama House of Representatives for passing the Rebuild Alabama package:
“The Alabama House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly to do the right thing so that our future generations can continue to prosper and continue to be competitive as we recruit others to come live and work in Alabama,” said Katie Boyd Britt, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. “This was a bipartisan effort, and I commend Governor Kay Ivey, Speaker Mac McCutcheon, Rep. Bill Poole, and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels for their leadership on this critical issue. This is responsible and transparent legislation that paves the road to our future.”
The Alabama Senate today approved SB2, the accountability portion of the legislative package. It will require the Alabama Department of Transportation to give routine reports on planning and budgeting to a legislative committee.
Earlier in the day, the “Big 5 Chambers” of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) united with the BCA to urge their support for the Rebuild Alabama plan.
“The road to our future must be paved,” said Britt. “Alabama’s transportation system is crucial to our economic growth, and BCA is proud to stand united with these chambers and so many others to support Governor Ivey and the legislature to Rebuild Alabama. Economic development and infrastructure go hand in hand.”
“Chambers of Commerce are the pillars of our communities, and we are strongest when we stand together,” said Jeremy Arthur, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama which represents more than 100 local chambers in Alabama. “We can no longer sit idling while every other state around us improves their infrastructure and lands the jobs and industries that otherwise would come to Alabama.”
On Thursday, the House Transportation, Infrastructure and Utilities Committee held a public hearing HB2, and opponents alike had the opportunity to voice their concerns to the members of the committee. In presenting the bill to the committee, Rep. Poole pointed out that “the cost of not doing anything is not nothing. It’s substantial.”
BCA’s Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs David Cole spoke in support of the legislation. “The economic vitality of the state of Alabama is what’s at stake here,” Cole said. “Let’s show the public this money is going where you say it is…that’s gravel, asphalt, and concrete for roads and bridges.”
The Senate Transportation and Energy Committee also held a hearing on SB2 by Sen. Clyde Chambliss. The BCA has worked diligently to make sure there is a strong accountability provision in the legislation. Sen. Chambliss has taken the lead on this issue working to ensure that revenue will only to transportation projects.
On Tuesday, Governor Ivey, Rep. Poole, and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels briefed the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Committee just ahead of the 2019 Legislative Session gaveling in. Gov. Ivey pointed out that a renewed investment in infrastructure will enhance our quality of life, provide safer roads and greater economic prosperity.
“Every hard-working Alabamian will be impacted by this in the form of safer roads, bus routes, job opportunities, and first responders in moments of disaster or distress,” said Rep. Poole.
David Cole and Molly Cagle Join BCA Government Affairs Team
Last week, the BCA announced David Cole has been named senior vice president of governmental affairs and Molly Cagle has been named vice president of governmental affairs. Both were in place for the start of the 2019 legislative session.
“David and Molly bring a wealth of experience and have proven track records of success in the governmental affairs arena,” said BCA President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt. “David and Molly are well-known at the State House, and their knowledge and relationships position them to advocate effectively for Alabama business owners, employees, and families.”
Cole joined the Alabama Farmers Federation in 2006 as area organization director, and in 2011, he accepted a position in Alfa’s Governmental Affairs sector where he recently was named director of state affairs for the Alabama Farmers Federation and the Alfa Companies. Prior to his work in government affairs, Cole was a small business owner and started his own landscape design and installation business following graduation from Auburn University.
“Having David in this leadership role means great things for Alabama’s businesses,” Britt said. “He has a stellar reputation, strong work ethic, and will be an immediate contributor to the BCA.”
Cagle began her political career working on campaigns. When Senator Del Marsh was elected Pro Tem of the Senate, she served as Senate liaison for nearly four years. Cagle joined Manufacture Alabama in 2014 and served most recently as vice president of external affairs, overseeing their lobbying and political efforts. She is a graduate of Troy University.
“Molly’s experience and immense knowledge of the legislative process position her to hit the ground running, and I have no doubt that she will prove invaluable to Alabama’s business community,” Britt said.