Job growth and sustainability have been hot-button words at the forefront of much of lawmakers’ rhetoric for the last few years, but Alabama may be seeing a few worthwhile initiatives pushed through legislation that could stimulate and develop the state’s economy.
AL.com reports that three bills, which are all supported by both the Republican Caucus and by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, seek to make Alabama a more competitive state and to attract large-scale companies by offering attractive and relevant incentives.
Alabama already has some incentives in place — but they aren’t working well. What’s different about the new bills is that they propose something much more sustainable: performance-based and pay-as-you-go model of incentives, which are expected to work better for a poor state like Alabama
The Alabama Jobs Act offers eligible companies a 3% jobs credit for the creation of 50 new jobs. The credit will be paid out for 10 years following the first year and will be taken from state funds gathered through utilities.
A second bill is aimed toward increasing jobs for veterans in Alabama — companies that have an employee pool comprised of 12% veterans are eligible for a .05% jobs credit.
The third bill, the Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, is intended to encourage Alabama’s existing companies to invest in themselves and to improve their businesses so that they aren’t in danger of closing.
These bills have all passed through the House and are slated to be discussed by the Senate.
Some say that Alabama should also harness the power of the growing solar energy sector to stimulate job growth and create — literally — sustainable jobs in the state.
There is a growing shift in America toward solar energy — according to the Solar Energy Foundation, the solar industry is creating jobs at a rate that is 20 times that of the rest of the economy.
Eco-friendly home improvements like solar panels, convection ovens (which use less energy than traditional ovens and cook food 25% faster), dual flush toilets, and multi-layered windows are becoming more and more popular in the U.S.
The new initiatives could draw energy companies (and jobs) to the state to promote sustainable employment — and sustainable energy use.