Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday applauded Alabama House members for approving a key component of his jobs and economic development agenda.
Representatives approved House Bill 159, a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize an incentives program to help recruit more companies to Alabama. The measure would also help existing businesses expand and hire more workers in Alabama.
"This legislation will give us an important new tool to recruit private-sector jobs our people need and deserve," Governor Bentley said. "This will also encourage existing companies to expand their operations here. As those companies make a greater investment in Alabama, we will be able to keep high-quality jobs in our communities."
The approval of House Bill 159 follows House approval of the bill's companion legislation, House Bill 160.
Known as the Alabama Job Creation and Retention Act of 2012, the legislation provides for new incentives that could be offered to a wide variety of employers. Those employers range from research and development firms to manufacturers, data processing facilities, corporate headquarters and more.
"Approval of this legislation in the House of Representatives is a critical step toward improving our economy," Governor Bentley said. "I now look forward to working with the Alabama Senate on the next step of approval for this economic development tool."
During the last several months, Alabama has reduced its unemployment rate faster than any other state in the country.
"Approval of this legislation will help us build on our momentum," Governor Bentley said.
Pending Senate approval, the constitutional amendment would be submitted for a vote of the people on the general election ballot in November.