Northeast Alabama Senator Touts Committee’s Work Ethic

Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee Chairman Sen. Phil Williams updated Business Council of Alabama Governmental Affairs Committee members today on the wide range of economic and fiscal issues that his committee handles.

Williams, R-Rainbow City, said the renamed Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee that he chaired in the last quadrennium has a wider scope in order to better handle fiscal and economic development legislation that is often linked.

“It literally handles labor, growth, economic development, and public works,” Williams said, to name a few issues the committee deals with.

Bills in his committee that are important to the BCA include those dealing with limited liability, contractor regulations, and simplified business filing measures, to name a few, said Williams.

An important package of economic development bills from the House – HBs 57, 58, and 59 – that went through his committee, included one that will enhance current industry.

“One bills says we care about existing industry,” Williams said. “It incentivizes the growth of existing industry.” 

The House and Senate passed the bills, which were supported by the BCA, and sent them to Governor Robert Bentley who signed them into law.

Williams said his philosophy is to allow robust debate in order for bills to be properly aired, even controversial ones such as the Birmingham Water Works bill, SB 89 sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills.

“We work bills in committee,” Williams said. “I’m real proud of the committee.”

Williams is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, a practicing attorney, and is a lieutenant colonel in the Alabama National Guard. He attended Army Ranger School and completed two tours in the Mideast during his 28-year military career.

First elected in 2010, Williams was reelected in 2014 from the northeast Alabama district that includes all or parts of four counties. Williams said he takes his role as a state senator seriously and believes that he can positively affect the lives of citizens in his district.

“I did not go through that to come down and be a rank and file member,” he said. “The reality is I believe you have a Legislature right now that really does believe in order to continue the right mission you have to look past the cheap, easy way out.”

-Dana Beyerle

Sen. Williams also sat down with Dana Beyerle and Leah Garner to answer a couple of questions for the Business Council of Alabama’s Two-Minute Tuesdays.