The Business Council of Alabama kicked off the 2020 Legislative Session by hosting Governor Kay Ivey at the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Committee briefing on Tuesday, where she spoke about the successes achieved last year working together with the private sector. “In bipartisan efforts and collaboration, we have been able to do some pretty incredible things,” stated Governor Ivey. “Rebuild Alabama would not have become a reality without the involvement and engagement in a serious way of the BCA.”
Governor Ivey went on to state that she looks forward to continued efforts of bipartisanship and working with leaders in the State House to tackle critical issues such as workforce development, education, and prisons.
Gov. Ivey’s remarks were broadcast on Facebook Live. Watch below if you missed it, and like us on Facebook to ensure that you won’t miss next week’s live broadcast of Lt. Gov Will Ainsworth.
House and Senate Chambers Ease Through First Week of 2020 Legislative Session
The first week of the 2020 Legislative Session has concluded with a total number of 358 bills filed in both chambers. While a number of bills received first readings, a small number were deliberated by legislative committees. This pace will certainly pick up in the weeks to come, and we will likely see several more high-profile pieces of legislation filed as the legislature continues its work.
Governor Ivey Announces Key Legislative Issues in State of the State Address
On Tuesday evening, Governor Kay Ivey issued her 2020 State of the State Address at the Alabama State Capitol where she announced several priorities her administration plans to address this legislative session. These issues touch several areas of state government and include:
- A $1 billion bond for K-12, community college and university construction projects
- Additional funding for the expansion of the state’s national recognized voluntary Pre-K program
- Creating three new crisis centers to stabilize and treat mental health patients
- Construction of three new men’s prison in the state to combat Alabama’s overcrowded prisons
- Providing a 3% pay raise for teachers
- Providing a 2% pay raise for state employees
- Increased support for rural health care initiatives
Several Bills of Interest Filed This Week in Legislature
During the first week of the 2020 Legislative Session, several bills of interest were filed and received their first readings. Below is a list of bills filed thus far that the BCA team is tracking:
- HB 109 – by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, known as the Alabama Research and Development Act, would implement a research and development tax credit for qualified research conducted in Alabama. These Research and Development (R&D) tax credits would be limited to $25 million for R&D expenses in a calendar year. Additionally, no eligible company could claim more than 20 percent of the credits in a single tax year.
- HB 77 – by Rep. Wes Kitchens, R-Arab, would require employers and state agencies to use the same specified guidelines to determine whether a worker is to be classified as an employee or independent contractor. This will require state government agencies to use a uniformed set of criteria that will mirror the federal government criteria. This will provide businesses with clear and consistent guidelines when classifying employees.
- HB 195 – by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, known as the Alabama Rural and Agribusiness Jobs Act, would issue a tax credit certificate to taxpayers who make investor contributions to a certified growth fund to make capital accessible to rural, minority, and female owned businesses.
BCA will Monitor
- HB 11 – by Rep. Craig Lipscomb, R-Gadsden, would create an income tax credit for in-state automobile manufacturers and in-state aviation manufacturers to encourage the purchase of tires from in-state tire manufacturers to be used in the production of an automobile or aircraft made in Alabama. The tax credit would be equal to the cost of the purchase, but could not exceed $5 million per year.
- HB 93 – by Rep. Ron Johnson, R-Sylacauga, would enact the Digital Fair Repair Act. This would provide for the repair of digital electronic equipment by persons other than the manufacturer or an authorized repair provider of the manufacturer. This bill would require an original equipment manufacturer to make parts available, for purposes of diagnosis, maintenance, or repair, to any independent repair provider.
Tuesday’s Briefing will Feature Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth
Please join us next Tuesday, February 11 at 9:00 a.m. for the BCA’s Governmental Affairs Committee Briefing with Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth.
Please email RSVP@bcatoday.org to let us know you’ll be present. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the first floor auditorium of the Business Center of Alabama, 2 North Jackson Street, Montgomery.
We’ll be broadcasting Lt. Gov Ainsworth’s briefing on Facebook Live for anyone who’s unable to attend. Find us on Facebook and tune in.
If you have any questions regarding the legislative session, please contact BCA’s Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs David Cole or BCA’s Vice President for Governmental Affairs Molly Cagle.