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Brooks advises governor to reopen the Alabama economy

Congressman Mo Brooks speaking on the House floor.

Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, transmitted to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey her request Monday for recommendations by Alabama’s 5th Congressional District Advisory Committee for reviving Alabama’s economy.

The Committee was formed at Governor Ivey’s request. The group evaluated the economic effects of Governor Ivey’s “Stay-at-Home Order” and made recommendations on how to best minimize economic damage by reviving Alabama’s economy. The group urged Gov. Ivey to immediately lift all of the state at home orders and orders closing Alabama businesses.

“Tennessee Valley residents are extraordinarily concerned, and even somewhat fearful, of the COVID-19 Pandemic and are angry about how the Pandemic has been handled by all levels of government,” said Rep. Brooks. “There are no winners in the battle between a strong economy and minimal loss of life to COVID-19. If we do everything possible to minimize COVID-19 deaths, the economy collapses and we risk even more people dying because of the fallout from that economic catastrophe. If we return economic activity to what it once was, then COVID-19 deaths will undoubtedly increase. In sum, Alabama and America are forced to make the best of a bad situation.”

The Advisory Committee represents all of the 5th District’s counties and includes representatives from small and large businesses, the manufacturing sector, agriculture, medicine, local chambers of commerce, defense and space, the legal profession, banking, and Alabama legislators.

Rep. Brooks said, “Alabama has two options. We can live under government dictate, where a burgeoning nanny state regulates, ‘for our own good, because we are not smart enough to know better’, the minutiae of our lives (even to the point of dictating when we can visit our children, grandchildren, parents and siblings, and how far apart we must be when we do so). Or we can have a government that is a partner and advisor, that gives its best advice but defers to citizens the liberty and freedom of making their own decisions on how to best balance the conflict between COVID-19 safety and the income needed to support family life. I am proud that, in the Tennessee Valley, our Advisory Committee members chose to respect liberty, freedom, and the right of individual citizens to do what they believe is best to protect and promote their own lives.”

Though led by Congressman Brooks, the direction and recommendations of the Advisory Committee are those of the Committee. Each Advisory Committee member had the right to submit, and call for a vote on, any proposal.

Each recommendation that passed was passed by a majority vote. Proposals that did not receive majority support was not included in the report.

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The Advisory Committee called on Governor Ivey to immediately repeal and rescind all State of Alabama stay at home orders that have played a major role in strangling Alabama’s economy.

A copy of the Advisory Report is bot stated below and attached

The Advisory Committee members are: dentist Dr. Tim Brooks, gastroenterologist Dr. Mike Brown, pharmacist State Senator Tom Butler, former Alabama Public Service Commissioner State Rep. Lynn Greer, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Janssen, Nucor Steel Vice-President Mike Lee, AGM Consulting President Angie McCarter, farmer and former Limestone County Probate Judge Stan McDonald, former Regions President Ron Poteat, Torch Technologies founder Bill Roark, Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Roden, former restauranteur and former State Senator Paul Sanford, Home-Town Lenders CEO Billy Taylor, and Madison County Chamber of Commerce Sr. Vice-President Mike Ward, Sr.

The vote was conducted by a formal roll call vote, where each member voted “yes”, “no”, or “abstain”.

The Advisory Committee made the following recommendations:

Let “Stay Home Order” Naturally Expire On Its April 30, 2020 End Date. Passed on a 10 to 4 vote,

On a 10 to 0 vote, the Advisory Committee recommended that the “Stay Home Order”, and all similar or related shutdown orders, be rescinded today (immediately).

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On a 13 to 1 vote, the Advisory Committee recommended that Stay Home Order Section 9 be continued by the State of Alabama for so long as a COVID-19 Pandemic emergency exists. Section 9 states: that any person who has tested positive for COVID-19—other than institutionalized persons—shall be quarantined to their place of residence for a period of 14 days after receiving positive test results.

On an 11 to 3 vote the Committee recommended that the State of Alabama follow and abide by President Trump’s “open up the economy” proposal that was issued by the White House last week.

On a 12 to 0 vote, the Advisory Committee recommends that the State of Alabama adopt & promulgate recommendations (with some mandates relating to “high risk” citizens).

The Committee voted 12 to 0 to promote telehealth and telemedicine even after the COVID-19 crisis has ended.

The Committee voted 10 to 0 to repeal any and all Certificate of Need Laws.

There is a growing sentiment that the economy should be reopened regardless of any lingering concerns about the coronavirus. Many business groups across the state have been advocating lifting the onerous COVID-19 restrictions by May 1.

“It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for the State of Alabama to act immediately on these recommendations,” the Committee stated. “Every delay day causes more economic suffering by Alabama citizens. Every delay day is a nail in the coffin of otherwise income and job-producing enterprises. At some point, the job creating business is dead, forever, to the detriment of all of Alabama.”

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The decision though is ultimately Governor Kay Ivey’s. As of press time, 42,514 Americans have died from COVID-19, 37,418 of them in the month of June alone. 22 million Americans have already lost their jobs due to the forced economic shutdown used to fight the coronavirus.

Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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