MONTGOMERY – Governor Kay Ivey today launched her plan for Alabama’s continued economic success, The Game Plan, a proposed package of four economic development bills that will strengthen the state’s competitiveness for job-creating projects. Governor Ivey was joined by top leadership of the Alabama Legislature to signal bipartisan support for The Game Plan.
During a press briefing at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, Governor Ivey said implementing the package is vital to ensuring Alabama’s economic stability amid an uncertain future.
“The Game Plan will position Alabama for a new era of vigorous growth, allowing us to continue our record-breaking economic development success, while providing new levels of support for the state’s innovation economy,” said Governor Ivey. “This package will benefit all Alabamians, those living in both urban centers and rural areas, and ensure our citizens are ready for high-paying careers.”
The Game Plan package includes four bills — or “plays” — that will be introduced during the current session of the Legislature:
- Play 1: The Enhancing Alabama’s Economic Progress Act renews the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama program and extends their sunset dates to 2028 while adding strategic enhancements to increase their effectiveness. The Jobs Act is the state’s primary incentives platform while Growing Alabama primarily speeds development of shovel-ready sites.
- Play 2: The Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act (SEEDS) will allow the State Industrial Development Authority to accelerate the development of industry-ready sites at a time when available sites are scarce and other states are expanding their site programs.
- Play 3: The Innovation and Small Business Act aims to supercharge growth in Alabama’s innovation economy and support underrepresented businesses and enterprises in rural areas, transforming the state into a hub for technology and innovation.
- Play 4: The Enhancing Transparency Act Enhancing will amend the Jobs Act to require the Alabama Department of Commerce to publish certain incentivized project information on its web site. Transparency around important information related to companies receiving incentives will serve a valid public service and increase confidence in the process.
Also speaking in favor of The Game Plan at today’s event were Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, state Senate President Pro Temp Greg Reed (R-Jasper), Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville).
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce since 2011 and the state’s top-ranking economic development official, also expressed strong support for the package.
“The Game Plan represents the state’s next-generation strategic economic development framework, designed to future-proof Alabama’s economy and provide a blueprint for growth that lifts families and communities across the state,” said Secretary Canfield. “It will keep us competitive for high-impact projects as our neighboring states are aggressively escalating their economic development efforts.”
Since the Jobs Act took effect in July 2015, it has been utilized in economic development projects that have brought $22 billion in new capital investment and 40,000 jobs to the state, according to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce. Around 6,000 of those jobs have landed in the state’s rural counties.
Jobs created by these projects will pay an average hourly wage of $23.42, a figure that is 31% than the state’s median wage, according to Commerce data.
If the Jobs Act is not renewed by the Legislature, it will expire on July 31 of this year, as will the Growing Alabama tax credit program.
Today’s event comes just days after Governor Ivey announced that economic development projects announced in 2022 will bring over $10 billion in new capital investment to the state, setting a new annual record.
The Legislative leaders reinforced the importance of implementing The Game Plan package.
Lt. Gov. Ainsworth: “Our goal is simple — we want to have the best incentives not only in the Southeast, but in the nation as a whole. Reauthorizing these programs is going to be essential in attracting high-paying, long-lasting 21st Century jobs.”
Sen. Reed: “When you look at the issues Alabamians care about, economic development and job creation are at the top of that list. States around our region are all competing to attract jobs and create economic growth. We need to make sure we are best positioned to attract these good-quality jobs to communities in our state.”
Speaker Ledbetter: “Industries across the country are trying to come here because of our great employees, our low taxes and because of our great quality of life. From a competitive standpoint, we want to make sure we have the tools necessary to bring them here and keep them here.”
Sen. Singleton: “Growing Alabama’s economy and creating good jobs for our citizens is something we can all agree on.”
Rep. Daniels: “We will continue to promote practical and meaningful legislation and policies that highlight our pro-growth, pro-innovation platform.”
Provided by the Office of the Governor of Alabama | governor.alabama.gov