2022 Legislative Agenda
Business View – December 2021/January 2022 / 2022 Legislative Agenda
The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce has served as the Mobile area’s progressive business advocate since 1836. Mobile connects Alabama to the world, and the Chamber is here to advocate for business-friendly legislation that grows Mobile and Alabama’s influence in the region, across the country and around the world.
FUNDAMENTAL FOUNDATIONS FOR ALABAMA
- Support increasing Alabama’s investment in transportation infrastructure to sustain and promote economic growth, job creation, quality of life and public safety. Chamber members recognize the need for more state resources to address highway, bridge and other road maintenance and capital needs in Mobile, specifically for building the I-10 Mobile River bridge and completing the four-laning of U.S. Hwy. 98 from Mobile’s city limits to the Mississippi state line.
- Work in support of the Mobile Airport Authority’s efforts to secure final funding to transition air service to Mobile’s downtown airport at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.
- Advocate for adequate funding for Alabama’s education budget, including Alabama’s First-Class pre-kindergarten, career tech, dual enrollment and other innovative programs, in order to ensure a competitive increase in student scoring, higher graduation rates and competitive college and career ready graduates; maintain high academic standards and expectations for all Alabama students such as those found in the Alabama College and Career Ready Standards or Common Core.
- Support a fiscal year 2023 state budget appropriation for the University of South Alabama that reflects the institution’s positive impact on its students, community and the Mobile region, along with additional funding to support USA Health in recognition of its unique mission as the region’s only academic healthcare provider with a Level One trauma center, burn unit and neonatal intensive care facility.
- Preserve the integrity of Alabama’s First Congressional District through the 2021 redistricting process, keeping Mobile and Baldwin counties together as a congressional district to build upon the united regional and business leadership that is unique to southwest Alabama.
SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES, AMERICA’S LARGEST EMPLOYER
- Preserve jobs and economic growth in all sectors through the reduction of overly burdensome regulations.
- Encourage the representation and engagement of the Alabama Innovation Commission and the Alabama Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Council to improve the creation and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurial development in Alabama as well as workforce development opportunities across the state.
- Support the growth and development of Mobile’s entrepreneurial community and Innovation Portal’s mapping of entrepreneurial talent to meet the growing technological needs of industry with state funding opportunities. Promote efforts to provide much-needed programming, skills training and funding for entrepreneurial clients, as well as engage local industry to identify technological solutions to small business challenges.
- Protect an employer’s right to provide a safe workplace by opposing any legislation that would keep an employer or property owner from restricting firearm possession on company property.
- Support measures to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund that mitigates the impact of increased taxes on Alabama businesses, particularly small businesses.
A HEALTHY ALABAMA
- Support measures to address a growing opioid crisis in Alabama that is potentially detrimental to the availability of a qualified workforce, workplace safety and overall community health.
- Support a provider-driven approach to reforming Alabama’s current Medicaid program to ensure access to care, control costs and maximize the return of Alabama’s tax dollars to the state.
- Seek a permanent funding source for Mobile’s Programs for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) and the expansion of such programs across the state in order to draw down increased federal funds for the medical care of the state’s growing nursing home population at a cost savings to Medicaid.
GOOD STEWARDSHIP OF ALABAMA’S NATURAL RESOURCES
- Support the continuation of federal payments to Alabama, specifically Mobile and Baldwin counties, from the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). Under GOMESA, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas receive a share of revenue from oil and gas drilling in federal waters, which helps address coastal restoration, hurricane protection and watershed management programs in coastal Alabama.
- Advocate for investments in climate-resilient infrastructure, like a new I-10 bridge, in an effort to mitigate damage from future storms.
KEEPING ALABAMA OPEN FOR BUSINESS
- Advocate for the protection of businesses, both large and small, from legislation that would open the door to frivolous lawsuits, especially coronavirus-related litigation.
- Continue support for the renewal of economic development tax incentives, the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Tax Credit. These programs are the foundation of the state’s economic development efforts and are tied to the state’s largest new industry announcements in recent years.
- Advocate for legislation that creates an attractive environment for economic development, ensuring Alabama is widely known as a business-friendly state.
- Support the funding and construction of the proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge and partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Alabama Department of Transportation to actively seek construction funding through Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants and other sources.
- Support the extension of the state income tax credit through 2029 for rehabilitation of certified historic structures, a proven incentive for bringing more investment capital into projects that will use it directly for job creation and sustained economic activity.
- Support the renewal of the tax exemption for certain materials used in the reconfiguration of aircraft – materials that ultimately become part of a completed aircraft.
- Support growth in the film and music industry in the state of Alabama by advocating for raising the $20 million incentive cap.
- Continue support to fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District Civil Works program to deepen and widen the Mobile Ship Channel as well as the annual operations and maintenance dredging, and maintain necessary funding for the operation and maintenance of Alabama’s commerce waterways, including the deepening of the Bayou La Batre and Coden ship channels.
TRAINING AND ADVANCING ALABAMA’S WORKFORCE
- Continue to identify needs and support demand-driven strategic workforce training initiatives in south Alabama’s key economic growth sectors, including aerospace, maritime, advanced manufacturing and tourism.
- Work to meet the need for able-bodied workers in the region by advocating for reentry and job skills training programs for those currently in correctional facilities, serving sentences for non-violent crimes.
MADE BY ALABAMA, FOR AMERICA AND THE WORLD
- Maintain federal military contracts with Mobile-area employers, particularly the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding blueprint for the future, which includes current and future small surface combatants and auxiliary ships to incorporate autonomous and unmanned surface vehicles and Expeditionary Fast Transports.
- Support free and fair trade and investment policies that expand access to international markets, reduce trade barriers and increase foreign direct investment, creating a level playing field to put Mobile-area families, businesses and workers first and improving the overall international competitiveness of Alabama exporters.
Click here to read the Business View – December 2021/January 2022
Additional information is on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s website at mobilechamber.com, on Facebook at @MobileChamber, Instagram at @mobile-area-chamber and Twitter at @MobileChamber.