HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Monday, several members of the Alabama Legislature visited Huntsville to give the Alabama Legislative Update.
They also gave details on what’s on tap for the next Legislative Session that starts on March 7th, 2023.
Alabama Speaker of the House, Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter kicked off the update. He discussed the economic progress Alabama has made in recent years, education efforts, and mental health.
Rep. Ledbetter said he plans to introduce legislation regarding fentanyl and creating penalties for people who bring it into the state.
Other speakers included state senators Sen. Arthur Orr and Sen. Clay Scofield, as well as state representatives Rep. Anthony Daniels and Rep. Rex Reynolds.
Sen. Arthur Orr, who serves as the Finance & Taxation Education Committee Chair, said tax cuts are on his to-do list.
“The budgets are always our number one duty, but related to that, I think you’ll see tax cuts” Sen. Orr said.
Orr also said he is working on a package that would turn money from the state revenue surplus and turn it into rebate checks for taxpayers.
However, he said many discussions will need to be had to determine who qualifies for those rebate checks.
“I would envision somewhere in the range of $500 million dollars, in that rebate package,” Sen Orr said. “Maybe more, maybe less, but it will be significant for Alabamians to get a check of several hundred dollars.”
House Minority Leader, Rep. Anthony Daniels said he plans to introduce a bill that would remove tax on overtime pay.
“Anything over the 40 hours would be untaxed by the state,” Rep. Daniels said. “For the employee, as well as the employer.”
Rep. Daniels said there are many workforce issues in the state, and this could be one solution to some of those problems.
“The worker is taking home more money and it’s more of an incentive to work overtime,” he said.
News 19 asked both Rep. Daniels and Rep. Ledbetter if they plan to introduce any legislation regarding adopting a state minimum wage since Alabama currently follows the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour. Both said they didn’t anticipate doing that, but instead planed to continue to promote higher-paying jobs and economic development.
“I think we need to strike a balance that helps, without actually putting in a mandate,” said Rep. Daniels.
House Speaker Rep. Ledbetter said taking action on the Alabama Jobs Act needs to be a top priority.
“The Alabama Jobs Act has got to come out quickly, it’s been good for the state, certainly positive in North Alabama, we’ve seen it be effective with Toyota/Mazda, so we’ll get that early” Rep. Ledbetter said.