On Tuesday morning I joined lobbyists from the business community and public employee organizations to hear a presentation by Finance Director Bill Newton. Newton began the presentation highlighting the dire financial position of the 2016 budgets. He added the Governor’s 2016 budgets had cut all available fat and the problem could only be solved by raising taxes now. Newton also reiterated the Governor was willing to play hardball with the legislators if needed to raise the taxes and will make the legislators come back for special sessions if they do not do what is needed.
What Newton did next might be symbolic of the tough road the Governor is facing. He asked business lobbyists who are naturally disposed to oppose taxes to now go over to the statehouse and lobby for them. Only time will tell, but it appears the leadership of the Legislature believe more cuts can be made before new taxes need to be discussed. Furthermore, the fact the Governor has a John Knight, a democrat sponsoring one of his major revenue measures shows most Republicans are not ready to turn their back on the “no new taxes” pledge.
Top Concrete Industry Legislation HB 298 Clears House Committee
On Wednesday morning, House Bill 298 cleared the Transportation Utilities and Infrastructure Committee. The Alabama Trial Lawyers Association called a public hearing to oppose the legislation but the bill did come out of committee. We would like to thank Representative Barry Moore for sponsoring the legislation and doing an outstanding job of presenting the bill. We would also like to thank Major Ogilvie for speaking on behalf of the concrete industry. Joining Major speaking in favor of the bill were representatives for the road building industry and poultry and egg farmers.
The association is now working to have House Bill 298 added to the special order calendar to be voted on by the full House. The calendar is set by the Rules Committee. If your representative is a member of the Rules Committee listed below, we ask that you call them at your earliest convenience and ask HB 298 be added to the calendar. Find you legislator HERE.
McCutcheon, Mac 334-242-7705
Johnson, Ron 334-242-7777
Buskey, James 334-242-7757
Beech, Elaine 334-242-7702
Boyd, Barbara 334-242-7692
Davis, Randy 334-242-7724
Gaston, Victor 334-242-7664
Greer, Lynn 334-242-7576
Harper, Alan 334-242-7732
Lee, Paul 334-242-7675
Moore, Barry 334-242-7773
Rich, Kerry 334-242-7538
Robinson, Oliver 334-242-7769
Warren, Pebblin 334-242-7734
Wood, Randy 334-242-7700
As mentioned, HB 298 would add an additional hour of drive time a day for ready mix drivers and 10 hours of on the clock time per week for ready mix drivers.
ACIA Capital Day Sees Largest Ever Crowd
On Thursday, April 2, the Association’s Third Annual Capital Day was attended by 46 Legislators, the largest crowd ever.
While the event ended with a bang, it first appeared to be a total bust. Twenty two members of the Association made the trip to Montgomery in hopes of joining their Legislator for lunch and a chance to discuss bills of importance to the industry. The Association was planning on the Senate and House breaking at Noon, allowing Legislators to join our luncheon. The Senate did their part but quickly re-gathered in caucus meetings thus not allowing their attendance. The House was still meeting at 1:30.
By this time, several ACIA members had already departed for home. At 1:45, the House broke and the Representatives flooded to the luncheon. The 46 attendees is right at 50% of the 105 total members of the House.
Listed below is complete list of the Legislators who joined us for the luncheon.
Jack D. Williams
Jack W. Williams
The legislature will reconvene on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.
Should you have any questions about this report, please contact our office.