Rep. Connie Rowe was today’s Business Council of Alabama’s Tuesday Briefing speaker.
Rep. Rowe was introduced by Jeff Johnson, manager of lands and public affairs, Southern and Gulf Coast Division for Vulcan Materials Co., the sponsor of today’s Tuesday Briefing. Vulcan Materials Co. is a 107-year-old, $3 billion company headquartered in Birmingham that operates 315 sites in 21 states and employs 6,000 nationwide including 1,000 in Alabama.
Rep. Rowe, R-Jasper, a member of the House Ways and Means General Fund and Public Safety and Homeland Security committees, discussed prison overcrowding and ensuring Medicaid is sufficiently funded.
She said she believes there will be enough savings – at least $50 million annually – by closing most overcrowded and aging state prisons and consolidating operations in four new ones to be built under a proposed $800 million bond issue.
Rep. Rowe also said a key component in attracting new industry is quality medical care, which an adequately funded Medicaid program supports.
“It’s an integral part of keeping hospitals alive and well and healthy,” Rep. Rowe said. “And that is a substantial part of any economic development package for rural Alabama.”
The Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund and House Ways and Means General Fund Joint Medicaid Study Group will conduct its first meeting on Wednesday for a Medicaid Agency overview.
Rep. Rowe is serving her first term in the House. She is a former criminal investigator for the Walker County district attorney’s office and was police chief of Jasper from 2011 to 2014.
Rep. Rowe advocated for HB 394 that will increase Alabama’s investment in surface transportation infrastructure that will encourage economic development.
HB 394 by Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, will make Alabama’s gasoline and diesel tax competitive with our border states beginning Oct. 1, 2016. Revenue would be deposited into the Alabama Transportation Safety Fund created by the already passed SB 180 and dedicated to road and bridge construction.
BCA Tuesday Meetings feature legislative leadership and administration officials who discuss topics of interest to Alabama’s business community.