Economic development and job creation are always among the top priority for leaders and elected officials each year. Governor Ivey has consistently made this a focus of her administration, as she’s worked toward sparking Alabama’s economy and job creation efforts since before she took office. With her support and leadership, the Alabama Senate now also has a great opportunity in the upcoming session to make a tangible impact on the lives of the constituents we were elected to represent through a proposed legislation package surrounding incentive programs and economic development in Alabama.
The Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama bills have been extremely impactful to our state, and this year, we will discuss their renewal, expansion, and enhancement. The Alabama Senate is looking forward to seeing effective pieces of legislation that will help Alabama’s local communities thrive by attracting high-quality employers, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.
Industries across the nation and globe rank Alabama among the most desirable places to do business because of our great people, low taxes, and incredible quality of life. With that said, we must work to ensure we have good sites for these companies to locate and grow in Alabama. Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee are all prioritizing funding for their site development programs. To keep Alabama competitive among our neighboring states, we need to reinvest in industry site development programs to facilitate our state’s economic growth and attract these potential employers.
Additionally, increasing the Job Act’s incentives cap will play a major role in getting more jobs in our state. The Alabama Jobs Act has been in place since 2015, bringing over $22 billion in new capital investments and 40,000 new job commitments to the state. The projects will continue to deliver substantial returns for the state, with calculations putting the 10-year return on incentives at 41 percent and the 20-year figure reaching 158 percent. That’s a sound investment that Alabama needs to make.
The Jobs Act directly serves our state’s rural areas, as well. In 2022, there were 10 projects in targeted, rural counties receiving Jobs Act support, and they will bring $978 million in new investment and 1,177 jobs to the rural areas.
While the Alabama Department of Commerce closely monitors the incentives process under the Jobs Act, the information has sometimes been considered confidential. Enhancing transparency around important information related to companies receiving incentives will also be a priority as we improve this legislation to serve a valid public service and increase confidence in the process.
Governor Ivey has been an influential leader on these issues for the betterment of our state, and the Alabama legislature now must raise the bar, as well. She has urged legislators, “it’s vitally important that we continue to focus on our economic and workforce development efforts, and this starts with renewing Alabama’s economic development incentives so they can continue to serve as a reliable tool for job creation and industry expansion.”