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State Legislature update: Alabama ‘Game Plan’ Crosses the Goal Line

Alabama “Game Plan” Crosses the Goal Line

All four state economic development incentive bills, dubbed the “Game Plan”, have passed the Alabama Legislature and were quickly signed into law by Governor Ivey on Thursday. The Game Plan package includes the following bills:

HB24 renews the Alabama Jobs Act, extends the sunset date to 2028, and increases the Act’s incentive cap by $25 million annually over the next five years. HB241 explicitly allows for renewable energy projects to qualify for the jobs and investment credit programs offered by the State. The bill also extends existing data center incentives and establishes a new tourism incentive.

HB247 establishes programs to incentivize innovation and small business development, particularly in rural areas. $25 million a year will be available for the Innovating Alabama Tax Credit to meet increasing demand for tech accelerators and to assist small and underrepresented businesses throughout the state.

SB165, known as the SEEDS Act, allows the State Industrial Development Authority (“SIDA”) to facilitate the development of industry-ready sites. The bill expands SIDA’s role in the preparation of industrial sites and allows SIDA to issue grants to stimulate the creation of new sites.

Lastly, SB151 amends the Jobs Act to require the Department of Commerce to publish certain incentivized project information on its website. Specifically, Commerce will publish the name of the company, the estimated capital investment, the number of jobs being created, the estimated hourly wage, the estimated value of incentives, and the project’s location. Commerce will also publish the projected 10 and 20-year return on the incentives to the state as well as aggregate performance data on all incentivized projects.

State General Fund on the Move

The House began consideration of the General Fund budget this week. The House Ways and Means General Fund Committee adopted a substitute to the Governor’s proposed budget on Wednesday. The substitute budget includes $15 million more in spending than the original bill. Some notable differences between the Governor’s recommended budget and the substitute are as follows:

$2 million more ($5.5m total) for the Airport Development Grant Program

$1 million less ($4m total) for the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Planning Grant Program

$1.7 million as a new line item for the Huntsville Hospital Health System to facilitate workforce development schools for in-demand health professionals

$4 million more spread across multiple programs to the Department of Mental Health

Other Bills of Interest

SB156 by Senator Chris Elliott, which establishes the Occupational Licensing Boards Division within the office of the Alabama Secretary of State, passed the Senate County and Municipal Government Committee last week. Some lawmakers have expressed frustration with the number of occupational licensing boards and their power to issue rules, fees, and fines in Alabama. Most boards are largely funded by fees they collect from licensees on authority given by the State. Senator Elliott’s bill would consolidate the “back office” licensing administration under the Occupational Licensing Board Division for consistency and efficiency.

HB261 passed the House this week with a bipartisan vote of 83-5. The bill prohibits the participation of biological males on female athletic teams and the participation of biological females on male athletic teams in collegiate level sports in the State. Alabama already has a ban on transgender athletes in K-12 sports teams. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The Legislature reconvened on Tuesday, April 25.

This update provided by the Economic Development Authority of Alabama

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