Gov. Kay Ivey launched The Game Plan, a proposed legislative package of four economic development bills designed to attract more job-creating projects to the state.
“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,” Ivey said.
The Game Plan is made up of four bills.
The first, the Enhancing Alabama’s Economic Progress Act, will renew the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama program, extending their sunset dates to 2028. The Jobs Act is the state’s primary incentive platform, which went into effect in 2015 and is set to expire at the end of July. To date, it has helped attract $22 billion in new capital investment and 40,000 jobs to the state, according to data from the Alabama Department of Commerce. The Growing Alabama program speeds up development of shovel-ready sites.
The second bill in The Game Plan is the Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act, or SEEDS. It will allow the Alabama Industrial Development Authority to accelerate the development of industry-ready sites.
The third portion of The Game Plan is the Innovation and Small Business Act, which is aimed at growing the state’s innovation economy by supporting underrepresented businesses and enterprises in rural areas. This act establishes the Alabama Small Business Credit with the transfer of tax credits for accelerators and support for underrepresented businesses. It also will make $25 million available per year for the Innovating Alabama Tax Credit that will go to programs for small businesses in innovative industries.
The Enhancing Transparency Act, the fourth bill in Ivey’s plan, will amend the Jobs Act to require the Alabama Department of Commerce to publish certain incentivized project information on its website, thereby creating more transparency for the public. Among the information disclosed will be the name of the project, number of jobs being created, an estimated hourly wage, the value of incentives including any cash incentive extended for projects, and a project 10- and 20-year return on incentives.
Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield was one of several public officials who spoke in support of Ivey’s plan. “It will keep us competitive for high-impact projects as our neighboring states are aggressively escalating their economic development efforts.”