ICYMI: Job Creation Tops Agenda for Alabama Leaders

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Alabama’s Republican Leaders yesterday previewed an ambitious agenda for the upcoming legislative session focused on jumpstarting private sector job growth, improving our schools through education reform and making state government more efficient.  While President Obama and the Democrats have been all talk when it comes to improving the economy, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said Republicans are ready to take action addressing real problems facing the state.

As Speaker Hubbard said, “It’s time for less talk, and more action.”

In case you missed it, here is this morning’s AP summary of the plan:

AP: Job creation tops agenda for Ala. GOP leaders

Associated Press

Published: Monday, November 7, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.

Last Modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.

The Republican leaders of the Alabama Legislature can sum up their No. 1 priority for 2012 with one word: jobs.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Monday they are working on a package of bills for the legislative session starting Feb. 7 and they will begin talking about them in the next few weeks.

“Jobs is what it is all about,” Marsh said.

The two leaders used Vulcan as a backdrop to announce the Republican majority’s priorities. The 2011 session was the first for the party to hold the majority since Reconstruction, and they used it to push through many bills, including a tough immigration law, a teacher tenure law, and tax credits for businesses meant to create jobs.

Those credits are being challenged in court by the Alabama Education Association because the legislation started in the Senate rather than the House. Marsh and Hubbard said Republicans’ goals include re-enacting the credits with the bill starting in the House to avoid legal problems.

Their package will also include a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow a business creating new jobs through a new or expanded plant to keep a portion of its workers’ state income taxes to help pay for the cost of construction.

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley said later Monday that he supports the proposed constitutional amendment and will work with GOP lawmakers to pass it. Bentley, who is working without pay until unemployment drops to 5.2 percent, said he and legislators are in synch in addressing the unemployment issue.

Hubbard said if the state can create more work, people will pay more sales and income taxes and help ease the state’s budget problems.

“That would solve a lot of problems we have in Alabama right now,” he said.

The Republican leaders said the GOP majority will also work to improve training programs for workers, legalize charter schools, and increase government efficiency.

House Democrats announced their 2012 priorities last week, and job creation was high on their list.


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