Alabama lawmakers name three main bills for upcoming legislative session

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 10:58 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In less than a week, state representatives and senators will meet in Montgomery to do the work of the people for a new legislative session.

And with the pandemic halting progress last year, lawmakers have a lot to catch up on.

On top of convening safely, lawmakers will be focusing on three bills out of the gate.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon and Senate Majority Leader Elect Clay Scofield agree, it’s time to get to work.

“Folks are hurting, jobs are on the line and we need to do our jobs,” State Senator, for District 9, Clay Scofield said.

But to do the job safely, they’ve come with a few solutions....

Everyone in the house and senate is required to wear a mask and will have their temperatures checked at the door.

“They’re making a sacrifice to come down and work but We’ve got a lot of dedicated members that have told me personally, ‘Mr. Speaker, I was elected to do a job and if we’re in session I will be there to do my job,’” McCutcheon said.

Once safety is taken care of, the first bill these two lawmakers want passed will make sure Alabamians don’t have to pay taxes on the economic stimulus payments.

“As is the stimulus payments would count as income and therefore automatically be taxed. So this would take that off. Alabamians have really struggled through this. So every dollar that they have for living expenses and the like means a lot to them so we need to make sure to allow them to keep as much of that in their pockets as we can,” Scofield said.

The next item on the agenda is to renew the Alabama Jobs Act, which expired December of 2020.

Lawmakers couldn’t act before the pandemic shut things down.

“It helps to provide incentives for large companies, to recruit large companies to provide jobs for the people of Alabama,” McCutcheon said.

Finally, the third bill is to give business owners an extra layer of protection against lawsuits related COVID-19.

“We know that there are some lawsuits across the country that have already popped up because of people feeling like they’re rights are being infringed upon.”

And since there are 105 state representatives, Speaker McCutcheon says they will have to spread out into the gallery and a few overflow rooms.

Legislators will work for two weeks and take one week off to access the health situation.

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