Week Six of the 2023 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

On Thursday, the economic incentives Game Plan package received final passage in the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. The bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.  

The Game Plan was BCA’s top legislative priority this session. BCA President and CEO Helena Duncan made the following statement upon its passage: “From creating jobs in rural communities to attracting new businesses and unique talent, ‘The Game Plan’ is a huge win for Alabama’s entire business community. The Business Council of Alabama commends Governor Ivey for quarterbacking this historic effort, and we applaud the Alabama Legislature on their outstanding work in passing this bipartisan package of pro-jobs, pro-growth legislation. As Alabamians, we can all be proud of this accomplishment and look forward to the many ways it will advance our state for generations to come.” 

Senator Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman) joined the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) on Tuesday, April 18, for BCA’s Government Affairs Briefing.  

Sen. Gudger focused on the importance of teamwork and the various “teams” he has been a part of throughout his life. He discussed his background and what influenced him to run for public office. Sen. Gudger also highlighted the significant work that went into making “The Game Plan” successful and the notable impact each of the “team players” have in the passage of this package of legislation.

Every Tuesday during the 2023 legislative session, BCA will hold a briefing at our office at 9 a.m. Each of our Tuesday morning briefings is streamed live on BCA’s Facebook page

Rep. Danny Garrett’s “red tape reduction” legislation — HB77 — received final passage in the House on Thursday and was referred to the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee. This bill would reduce “red tape” for more than 3,000 small businesses in Alabama.  

The legislature’s next priority will be to allocate state funds for Fiscal Year 2024 in the two budgets — the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund. BCA will continue to heavily monitor legislation throughout the remainder of the session.  

Legislative Interview

BCA connected with Alabama State Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) this week to discuss The Game Plan and the direct benefit this legislation will have on rural communities in Alabama. 

BCA Bills of Interest

Sponsor: Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison); Rep. Phillip Rigsby 

Status:Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on State Government; introduced and referred to the House Committee on Insurance 
BCA Position: Oppose  

Additional Information: This bill would allow a pharmacist to refuse service to a customer if the pharmacist believes the reimbursement they would receive for a drug is insufficient. It would also permit 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.  

Sponsor: Rep. Jamie Kiel (R-Russellville) 
BCA Position:Support 
Status:Pending action on House floor 

Additional Information: This bill would expand tax deduction for health insurance premiums paid for employees who report no more than $75,000 of adjusted gross income ($150,000 if filing jointly) on their individual tax returns and work for qualifying employer with fewer than 50 employees. It would allow qualifying employees and employers to deduct 100% of the amount paid for health insurance premiums in connection with an employer provided health insurance plan. Additionally, it would provide support to small businesses and facilitate their provision of health insurance. 

Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) 
BCA Position:Support 
Status:Passed in the House; referred to the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee  

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

Sponsor: Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley) 
BCA Position: In Review 
Status: Pending action in the House Judiciary Committee 

Additional Information: This bill would revise the Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Law. Changes to nonprofit corporation laws, like those proposed in this bill, can impact various aspects of nonprofit organizations, including their formation, governance structure, board responsibilities, financial reporting requirements, and other operational procedures. 

HB241Enhancing Alabama’s Economic Progress Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville); Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status: Signed into law 

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 and increases funding for site development to $35 million to encourage development of new shovel-ready sites amid a shortage here in the state. 

SB165Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act 
Sponsor: Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur); Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

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. 

HB247Innovation and Small Business Act 
Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville); Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

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. 

SB151 Transparency in Incentives Act 
Sponsor: Sen. Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman); Rep. Cynthia Almond (R-Tuscaloosa) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

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. 

Sponsor: Chris Elliott (R-Josephine)/Rep. David Faulkner (R-Birmingham) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

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. 

HB1Supplemental Appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act – Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023. 
Sponsor: Rex Reynolds (R-21) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

Additional Information: Introduced by Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-21), HB1 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. 

The monetary breakdown for each category in HB1 is as follows: 

Up to $339,175,000 to support the delivery of healthcare programs and services. 

Up to $660,000,000 for water, sewer, stormwater, and broadband infrastructure investments. 

Up to $55,000,000 for eligible programs and services in response to the negative economic impacts of the public health emergency. 

Up to $5,000,000 for response and mitigation expenses related to the pandemic. 

Up to $1,006,797.72 to reimburse costs for the administration, auditing, and reporting requirements of the state fiscal recovery funds. 

SB1Supplemental Appropriation from the State General Fund to the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) 
Sponsors: Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) 
BCA Position: Support 
Status:Signed into law 

Additional Information: Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), chairman of the Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, introduced SB1 to approve 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 will be made available through state dollars, not federal ARPA funding.

2023 Special Session on Reapportionment

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