Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday released the following statement regarding House approval of three of the Governor's jobs bills:
"I am pleased that House members have given these bills the priority and attention they deserve. The measures approved today all have one common goal, and that is putting Alabamians back to work. Together, we can continue to help Alabama's economy recover faster than the national economy."
Governor Bentley worked closely with members of his cabinet to craft the bills and introduce them as part of his comprehensive economic agenda.
The bills approved Thursday include:
* House Bill 154 -- This bill enhances the current economic incentives available to data processing centers. Data processing centers create a large number of direct and indirect jobs and have a significant economic impact in the communities in which they locate.
* House Bill 144 -- This bill expands Alabama's existing tax incentives to the coal mining industry in an effort to retain stable, high-paying jobs. The bill will provide hundreds of jobs that were awaiting approval of this measure.
* House Bill 151 -- This bill renames the existing Alabama Development Office as the new Department of Commerce. The primary reason for this is because international investors seeking development opportunities tend to look for a state's Department of Commerce for assistance with site selection. The Alabama Department of Commerce will continue the ADO's mission of pursuing additional industries and more jobs for Alabamians by working collectively with local, county, and regional development agencies.
Following Thursday's approval in the House, these bills will move into the Senate next week.
The House on Tuesday is expected to continue discussion on House Bill 159, a job creation and retention bill. Governor Bentley supports this measure to provide incentives for projects that will provide economic development and create even more jobs for Alabamians.