Stop the Alabama Gas Tax PAC said that Alabamians should view Tuesday night’s special session announcement from Gov. Kay Ivey and the Legislature’s cooperation as “governmental malpractice.”
“Montgomery politicians are coming for your wallet and they’re coming fast,” Ralph Long, chairman of the Stop the Alabama Gas Tax PAC said Wednesday. “This special session, held at taxpayers’ expense, is a sly circumvention of the regular process so that Montgomery politicians can ram the largest gas-tax increase in state history down the throats of hardworking Alabamians.”
Because this is a special session, legislators need only a simple majority to pass a bill since there is no obligation to pass a budget isolation resolution which requires a three-fifths vote.
Stop the Alabama Gas Tax spokesperson Hannah Ford said that the Alabama Legislature’s “Rebuild Alabama Act” is better termed the “Re-Tax Alabama Act.”
“The primary projects mentioned in the Re-Tax Alabama Act are port projects in Mobile and ‘electric vehicle charging infrastructure’ projects — a far cry from simple reparation of roads and bridges,” Ford said in a statement. “Specific decisions about which additional projects to focus on will be left to a committee of bureaucrats.”
“This special session to address the Re-Tax Alabama Act is governmental malpractice and must be stopped in its tracks before politicians win and taxpayers lose,” Ford said.
Long said that the Alabama Legislature has one constitutional duty to balance the state budgets.
“Legislators need to man up,” Long said. “Instead of doing the hard work to balance the budgets, they are making this massive tax hike a number one priority and putting the burden of their financial mismanagement on the backs of Alabama taxpayers. It’s unreal.”
“The vote on this proposal is critical, because it flies in the face of everything both conservatives and the hardworking families of Alabama want to see from their representatives in Montgomery,” Ford said. “We will not let the state forget this vote.”
The only statewide elected official to have come out in opposition to the fuel tax increase is state Auditor Jim Zeigler. Zeigler has proposed his own plan Z which provides $63 million more a year for state roads and bridges by ending the diversion of money from roads and bridges to the courts and state troopers.
Ivey insists that building roads and bridges and dredging the Port of Mobile is a crisis that demands drastic action.
“Driving on rough roads costs the average Alabamian $507 annually in additional vehicle maintenance – a total of $2 billion statewide, each year. That is why we are proposing a 10-cent increase in Alabama’s fuel tax. This increase would be implemented over the next three years,” Ivey said. “A renewed investment in infrastructure will lead to safer roads, economic prosperity and an enhanced quality of life. Ladies and gentlemen, I am willing to call you, the members of the Alabama Legislature, into a special session, if necessary, to focus solely on passing this critical legislation. It’s time to make our crumbling infrastructure system a problem of the past. This is a challenge that is felt by every Alabamian, clearly making it a bipartisan issue. As governor, I say enough is enough. Now is the time to Rebuild Alabama.
The three bills that make up the gas tax proposal had a public hearing on Thursday in the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee, and all three were passed in committee. The full House will meet at 10 a.m. on this legislation and could vote today. The legislation has to pass out of the House before it goes to the Senate.
Business Council of Alabama Small Business Exchange on APT tonight
The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) will present the Small Business Exchange on Alabama Public Television (APT) tonight, Thursday, April 9. This event is designed to help small businesses applying for federal stimulus funding under the new CARES Act.
In partnership with APT, BCA will bring together experts in business, banking, accounting, and law to answer phone calls from Alabama business owners and employers as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus on the state’s economy. New federal loans are now available for small businesses, but funding is limited in some cases and quick action is required.
The Small Business Exchange program airs tonight on APT from 7-8 p.m. BCA experts will be available to answer questions from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. tonight. In addition, experts will be available for consultation from 9.a.m. to noon tomorrow, Friday, April 10.
To ask a question or consult with our BCA experts during these times, the phone number is 1-833-BCA4BIZ (1-833-222-4249).
Manufacture Alabama launches “Ask the Experts” webinar
Ask the Experts: Employment Law Questions Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic is a new webinar being offered by Manufacture Alabama.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, disrupting the lives of everyone around our state, country, and the globe, employers are left with many questions and Manufacture Alabama wants to answer them.
Manufacture Alabama is the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory, and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses.
Manufacture Alabama has enlisted some of the top labor and employment attorneys in Alabama to bring you the first installment of a web series, ‘Ask the Experts.’ In the first installment, their experts will be answering your questions about implementing the new CARES Act Leave guidelines, and best practices for what to do if you have an employee test positive for COVID-19.
The attorneys will also be covering questions whether they are questions related to OSHA standards, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the impact of the CARES Act, or anything else labor or employment-related.
Manufacture Alabama also wants to hear stories of the changes manufacturers have experienced in the workplace as a result of the pandemic, and how businesses have changed day to day operations.
Send your questions and responses regarding these topics to [email protected] and stay tuned.
The webinar will be published Tuesday, April 14.
Ainsworth unveils website for small businesses seeking information during pandemic
Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth unveiled a new web page Monday designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop information hub during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and forced economic shutdown.
The website is www.atlasalabama.gov.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is already providing small business owners with unprecedented challenges and frustrations, so they should not have to struggle to find the information necessary to survive in the current economic climate,” Ainsworth said. “As new small business programs are announced and revised health orders go into effect, the website will be updated in order to provide the most timely and accurate information possible.”
The website was created by the Alabama Small Business Commission, which Ainsworth chairs. The site provides information related to Small Business Administration loans and assistance, unemployment claims, tax relief programs, and other timely initiatives.
The website is intended to help small businesses remain in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. The website also provides links to every state, county, and municipal health order currently being enforced in Alabama.
The Legislature placed the Alabama Small Business Commission under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in 2019.
The 22-member commission is tasked with formulating “policies encouraging innovation of small businesses in the state” and advising the Department of Commerce in promoting small businesses within Alabama.
On March 12, the rapidly spreading coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, led President Donald J. Trump (R) to order a forced economic shutdown on March 12. Those original orders have subsequently been strengthened by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), culminating in a statewide shelter in place order on Friday.
Realizing that with most of their businesses shut down through at least April 30, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, which provides low interest loans to hundreds of thousands of struggling small businesses. If the businesses use the money to make payroll and to pay other business overhead costs the loans will be forgiven.
Currently, there are 2,113 Alabamians with confirmed cases of COVID-19. 64 Alabamians have died and 271 are currently in the hospital. 20 Alabamians have recovered from their illness and been cleared by their doctors. The global pandemic has infected more than 1,441,589 people globally and killed 82,933, including 7,380 people just on Tuesday (1,970 of them were Americans). Gov. Ivey’s shelter in place order is in effect through April 30, but that is likely to be extended.
Businesses applying for aid can receive proof of existence from secretary of state’s office
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Monday that federal resources have been made available to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to assist with tax relief, employee protection and benefits, loans and grants, and many other challenges that business owners may encounter during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Merrill’s office explained that in order to be eligible for this federal aid, some corporations and businesses may be required to prove their existence as part of their application. Certificates of Existence can be obtained through visiting the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.
Business owners can apply online to receive their Certificate of Existence electronically for immediate processing. The non-subscriber fee is $28 and will allow a user to download their copy for up to 15 days.
If you are completing the request for a Certificate of Existence by paper, you may access the application here.
The form must be typed and will not be accepted via email.
Once completed, mail the application, along with the $25 filing fee, to:
Secretary of State’s Business Services Division
P.O. Box 5616,
Montgomery, Alabama 36103
Those who apply online will not receive a mailed copy. Rather, a copy can be downloaded online and then printed out.
Certificates of Existence are only available for businesses who have previously filed for formation with the Secretary of State’s Office. If you have not yet filed, you are still able to do so through the Secretary of State’s website
This documentation may also be required to process loan applications by lending institutions, banks, credit unions, farm credit, or public accountants.
For questions or more information, contact the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division at (334) 242-7221 or (334) 242-5324.
Thousands of Alabama businesses have been forced to close by orders from the state as well as local health departments. Many businessmen and women are having to make the difficult decision on whether or not to continue to make payroll. The aid under the CARES Act is a lifeline to businesses that the federal government is offering during this unprecedented period of economic crisis.
The forced economic shutdown was deemed necessary by state and federal government authorities in consultation with public health experts in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19. The COVID-19 global pandemic has already killed 12,857 Americans and 82,993 people globally. 1,050,077 people around the globe are still struggling through active cases of the illness, including 395,981 Americans.
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