Thursday, April 5, 2012
ALABAMA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WEEK 8
The Alabama House and Senate returned from Spring Break to begin the second half of the 2012 Legislative Session. As anticipated, the focus shifted to the General Fund budget and immigration reform, among other topics. Tuesday, the House Ways and Means committee approved a $1.393 billion 2013 General Fund budget. As the state faces significant shortfalls, the budget will likely lead to heavy cuts in state services and numerous layoffs. Next Tuesday, April 10, the House will have it’s opportunity to take up the General Fund budget, as it will be considered on the House floor.
On Thursday, Representative Micky Hammon introduced House Bill 658, an 83-page proposed rewrite to the Alabama immigration law. Governor Robert Bentley remarked, "Over the last several months, we have worked closely with legislative leaders and various groups to clarify and simplify portions of the immigration law, and the result is a more effective and more enforceable bill.”
Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley signed House Bill 152 (Heroes for Hire Act). This bill provides an additional $1,000 income tax credit for job creation to an employer who hires a recently deployed, and now discharged, unemployed veteran; and further, would provide a $2,000 income tax credit for recently deployed and now discharged, unemployed veterans who start their own businesses. “When our service men and women were called to defend our freedoms, they didn’t ask questions. They simply answered the call to serve. We must not forget the sacrifices veterans have made, and we encourage employers to remember our veterans as they fill open positions,” said Governor Bentley.
Other legislative developments of interest this week include:
- Single-point filing legislation, House Bill 597 and Senate Bill 459, passed their respective committees on Wednesday. This legislation enables businesses to file just once, as opposed to filing in every city and county where they operate. Both versions are expected to be fast-tracked by Republican leadership.
- The Alabama Senate passed legislation (Senate bill 300) requiring individuals that have been laid off from their jobs to wait one week before drawing unemployment benefits from the State. The bill would save the State’s unemployment compensation trust fund an estimated $11.4 million per year.
- 2012 Regular Session resumes on Tuesday, April 10th when the Senate will reconvene at 9:00 a.m. The House of Representatives will reconvene on the same day at 1:00 p.m. It is expected that the Education Trust Fund Budget will be introduced in the Senate as early as next week.
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