This week, the Legislature passed a pair of bills that promise to bring much-needed relief to small businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One bill provides liability protection to employers that follow the government’s guidelines to protect customers and workers from the deadline coronavirus. The other exempts COVID-19 loans and grants from state taxes. Governor Ivey is expected to sign both bills into law. Click here to learn more.
Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama tax credits
HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole (Tuscaloosa) and shepherded by Sen. Greg Reed (Jasper) in the Senate, was another major piece of legislation passed in the first two weeks of the 2021 session. The bill updates and extends the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama tax credits. Incentives will be available for pharmaceutical and medical research (including COVID 19), businesses in rural areas, businesses owned by minorities and women and projects related to Alabama’s port in Mobile.
Department of Labor conformity bill
HB 169, sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett (Trussville) and supported by Sen. Arthur Orr (Decatur) in the Senate, received final passage on Thursday. The bill updates language to conform to the U.S. Department of Labor and requires the state to work with the federal government regarding unemployment compensation benefits during a statewide state of emergency.
National Small Business Week
Sen. Jabo Waggoner (Birmingham) passed SJR 27, “Supporting the week of May 3-9, as National Small Business Week.” Recognizing the 58th anniversary of “National Small Business Week”, the resolution states that as the nation collectively recovers from an unprecedented pandemic, Alabamians celebrate the resolve and ingenuity of American businesses, entrepreneurs, and workers. The resolution received unanimous approval.
Legislature adjourns until Feb. 23
The Alabama Legislature is taking a week off to review their COVID 19 safety measures and to update/correct any software issues. With limited access to the State House, the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate are carefully monitoring any outbreaks of COVID 19 among elected officials and staff.