Alabama is on the Right Track

Feb 19, 2013 No Comments ›› Admin

Alabama on Track
The second week of the 2013 legislative session was a busy one as the Senate continued our laser focus on streamlining government and cutting waste to save taxpayers money.

Senate Bills 116 and 117, which streamline the state’s IT functions, passed on Thursday. These common sense proposals could potentially save taxpayer’s $30 to $60 million a year by establishing the Alabama Technology Authority for the delivery of state IT services and creating a cabinet-level IT secretary to coordinate the efforts. My colleague, Senator Phil Williams, worked very hard on these bills and I was proud to lend my support.

Both the House and Senate last week delivered on our promise to pass a plan to pay back the money borrowed from the Alabama Trust Fund. Our plan received broad bi-partisan support and will ensure that the state makes payments on a set schedule. The people of Alabama trusted us to do this when they voted to borrow money from the ATF, and it was our first order of business to pass this bill. The House will concur with our bill today and it will then be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Two of my bills made it out of committee last week. The first one consolidates the State Treasury Department budgets. This is another part of our effort to streamline state government. The second one allows for an Alabama resident who incurs a capital loss to carry forward the loss for state income tax purposes for three years from the year in which the loss is incurred.

I was honored last week to be presented the Healthcare Leadership award by the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Each year, the Association presents the Award to an individual who they feel has demonstrated leadership in bringing the best, most affordable healthcare to Alabama citizens. It’s a privilege to be in Montgomery fighting for high quality, low cost healthcare for the people of Alabama. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled healthcare professionals who are trained to deliver the best anesthesia care possible. These are the kind of people who make Alabama’s workforce the best in the country.

On Friday morning we hosted our third “Coffee & Conversation” event in Leeds at Laney’s Country Cooking. We will continue doing these informal get-togethers because it’s invaluable for me to hear directly from people around the District on what issues are most important to you. Be on the lookout for more of these events in the near future.

This week, you can expect the Senate to continue focusing on government efficiency. We will also be looking at legislation to increase flexibility for local schools and a bill that will address gun control concerns.

Unemployment is down, exports are up to record levels, and we were recently ranked the 4th best state to do business. Alabama is on the right track, and I’m excited to continue the work we’re doing to make sure our state government is getting smaller, more efficient, and more transparent.