Alabama House Republican Caucus Weekly Report

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To: Citizens of the State of Alabama

From: House Majority Leader Micky Hammon

Subject: Alabama House Republican Caucus Weekly Report

The Alabama House Republican Caucus continues to work to achieve our goals of cutting wasteful spending in government, increasing transparency, creating jobs and improving Alabama’s economy.  Our Republican members, under the leadership of Speaker Mike Hubbard, are committed to fulfilling the pledge we made to you in the “Handshake with Alabama” we outlined during the 2010 Election Cycle.

Last Thursday afternoon, Governor Bentley signed into law the repeal of the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (SB72) by Senator Del Marsh after the House and Senate approved his executive amendment to the bill.  According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, the repeal of the DROP program could save taxpayers as much as $58 million annually.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard said Republican lawmakers are living up to their commitment to look out for taxpayers.

“We knew this Legislature would have some difficult choices to make,” Speaker Hubbard said. “We will not shy away from making these tough choices because that’s what we were sent to Montgomery to do. We must set priorities and ensure that taxpayers’ money is being spent wisely on programs that work. That’s what the people of Alabama expect of us, and that’s what they deserve.” Read more on the Speaker’s comments here

Rep. Blaine Galliher is the House sponsor of Governor Bentley’s Full Employment Act of 2011.  This bill will provide businesses with 50 or fewer employees a one-time income tax credit equal to $1,000 per new job paying more than $10 per hour.   To view the Governor’s release click here

Other legislation of note that has moved the last two weeks includes:

  • Health Care Tax Incentives for small businesses and employees (HB61) by Rep. April Weaver which allows small business owners and their employees to deduct 200 percent of what they spend on health insurance premiums from their state income taxes.
  • Voter Photo Identification (HB19) by Rep. Kerry Rich which would require voters to present a government issued form of identification at the polls.
  • The Teacher and Education Employee Protection Act (HB211) by Rep. Jay Love which would require the state to provide professional liability insurance to teachers and other education personnel was voted out of the House Education Ways and Means Committee with a favorable report on Wednesday.
  • The Public Official Transparency Act (HB58) by Rep. Mike Ball which will require all elected officials and their spouses to publicly disclose contracts with state entities.  See a video of Rep. Ball discussing his bill here
  • Protecting Unborn Children from Substance Abuse (HB 8) by Rep. Wes Long which would protect a fetus against a mother’s use of illegal or prescription drugs.
  • Texting while Driving Ban (HB 102) by Rep. Jim McClendon which would place a statewide ban on texting while driving.
  • Fiscal Transparency Act (HB 25) by Rep. Paul Demarco which would require the state Finance Department to post monthly reports detailing the condition of the state General Fund and education budgets

To view the “Week in Review” videos from the last few weeks click here.

The Speaker Hubbard’s Commission on Job Creation met last week in Mobile.  This group continues to provide us with creative ideas on how best to address the creation of jobs and improving Alabama’s economy.  The Commission will host its fourth and final “business leadership exchange” in Birmingham on Wednesday, April 6 at the Regions Center downtown beginning at 6:00 p.m.

We’ve also been very pleased to see the Alabama media taking notice of our efforts.  You can read an editorial in the Mobile Press Register commending us for all we have accomplished up to this point in this year’s session by clicking here. We have many more great articles and news items on our website, For daily updates please follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we will be providing updates through the day each and every week day on those mediums.

Finally, on behalf of the entire Alabama House Republican Caucus, I would like to sincerely thank you for providing us with the opportunity to lead the Alabama Legislature for the first time in 136 years.  This is both a tremendous honor and responsibility.  I want you to know how committed we are to fulfilling our promises and hope our actions thus far adequately demonstrate this commitment to you.

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