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Opinion | Alabama elected officials showed leadership with “The Game Plan”

This package of bills served as an example of significant, well-thought-out, targeted legislation.

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It is critical and necessary in a free society to objectively judge the work of elected leaders and make the tough calls that keep the process of governing honest and responsible. It is also important to acknowledge when it succeeds. 

The passage of a slate of bills known as “The Game Plan” is one of those occasions when the governor and the state Legislature came together to accomplish something that is genuinely generational in its ability to positively transform the lives of millions of our citizens. 

I commend our state leaders for working together in a constructive, bipartisan manner to enact sound public policy that will lead to a brighter future for our state. Every citizen should be proud that our elected officials in Montgomery did just that when The Game Plan passed unanimously and was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey. 

Companies across the country and the world aggressively search for the best place to invest, create jobs and establish their operations. When doing so, they are looking for the most competitive environments possible to make that happen. And it is a competitive battle indeed. 

Every state in the Southeast is a player in this competition for business investment and job creation. The states that will be successful in creating strong economies and good job prospects for their residents will be the states that win those competitions for industry. 

Every state around us recognizes this and is making the investments needed to compete. For Alabama to be able to be at the front of the pack, it is essential that we do the same. Through the passage of this package of bills, our state’s leaders have been successful in doing so. With the incentives offered through these bills, our state can be on a level playing field with our neighboring states. And with continued investments into Alabama industrial sites, we should feel confident our state can make the argument to any company looking for a place to establish their operations to do so here.  

This package of bills served as an example of significant, well-thought-out, targeted legislation. Enacting these bills was a big win for our state and will go a long way toward laying the groundwork for a more robust future economy.  

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But it is also necessary to recognize the process that our leaders used to get this done. Simply put, they did it the right way. 

The drafting of these bills was not rushed or disorganized. These bills were carefully thought through and put together with the collaboration of legislators working in a bipartisan manner with the Governor’s Office, economic development leaders, and others. 

The state created a joint study commission – which included a diverse group of stakeholders – to carefully study our current economic incentives, their weaknesses, their strengths, and our state’s opportunities and then make their recommendations to the Legislature for consideration. 

The bills then went through regular order in the Legislature, where they saw debate and a smooth and clean committee and floor process. There wasn’t the usual pessimism or infighting, and there wasn’t any noticeable partisanship. Just legislators from both sides of the aisle working together on a vital priority for their constituents – growing Alabama’s economy. I commend Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed and House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter for their leadership in allowing the process to go forward in a measured and bipartisan manner. 

The bills passed unanimously – a feat that those who have some experience covering the Legislature can appreciate as rare, noteworthy, and symbolic of the inclusive process that this legislation enjoyed. And in short order, these bills received Gov. Kay Ivey’s signature with bipartisan legislators and economic development experts by her side. 

While it’s all-important to call out our elected officials when they aren’t doing things the right way, it is equally responsible to recognize their leadership when they do. Our elected officials did their jobs as public servants in passing this pivotal legislation for our state’s economic future. We should all hope they can learn from their success on this issue and use it as a game plan to achieve future policy goals. 

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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