The 2023 legislative session proved to be another successful and productive one for the Alabama Senate Republicans. We effectively utilized all thirty legislative working days with 340 bills filed in the Senate. We welcomed four newly elected Republican senators at the start of the year and passed key legislation that will continue to make Alabama the best state in the country to live and do business.
On behalf of the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus, we are proud to report the following legislative efforts that will continue to protect our conservative values and support the hardworking people of Alabama:
Repaying debt to Alabama Trust Fund
The Alabama Senate approved roughly $59.9 million in a final payment to the Alabama Trust Fund to satisfy money taken from the fund during the previous decade. This payment to the Alabama Trust Fund makes us ‘debt-free’ and fulfills our obligation to the citizens we represent as effective and honest stewards of state funds.
Sparking economic growth
The Alabama Legislature passed a four-bill package led by Governor Kay Ivey and coined “The Game Plan” to secure Alabama’s economic future. Governor Ivey’s Game Plan is strategic, innovative, and clearly outlined to help Alabama continue building on our success and providing more, higher-paying jobs to the citizens of our state. The Game Plan extends and enhances economic incentives for recruiting businesses to Alabama, increases funding for site development, supports innovative industries in our state, and ensures transparency surrounding the incentive process. This is a win for jobs, businesses, and every Alabamian.
The Alabama Senate passed SB261, a bill that would prohibit state contracts with businesses that boycott certain sectors of the economy based on environmental, social and governance. This bill is among the strongest anti-ESG legislation in the nation to protect investors and funds in Alabama and fight against the woke liberal influence across America.
Protecting small businesses
Alabama Senate Republicans championed new initiatives to support and protect small businesses in our state. Key legislation included a dram shop bill to protect providers of alcohol if the recipient injures a third party, retail theft legislation to create harsher punishments for people convicted of stealing from retailers, and a road builder liability bill to provide relief and protection to that industry.
Cracking down on drug dealers
Top of mind for the Alabama Senate Republicans each session is protecting our families and children. This session, we buckled down on the fentanyl crisis to crack down on drug dealers and establish mandatory minimum prison sentences for convicted fentanyl dealers. Additionally, legislation was passed to prevent gang violence, combat illegal narcotics and activities, and keep violent felons behind bars where they belong.
Standing with our troops
A key mission of the Alabama Senate Republicans is to provide ample support for our state’s extended defense, aerospace, and intelligence communities. The legislature passed and Governor Ivey signed a series of bills to ensure Alabama remains the nation’s most attractive and friendliest state for active-duty military, their families, and veterans. Specific bills include extending tuition benefits for the National Guard, expanding education benefits to spouses whose partners were killed on active duty, defining “dignified and humane” disposal of unclaimed veteran remains, and allowing out-of-state military personnel to purchase insurance in the state where they are stationed for their Alabama vehicles.
The Senate passed several pieces of legislation to keep money in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers and small businesses. The Grocery Tax Cut reduces the state’s sales tax on grocery items from 4% to 3% on Sept. 1 with the potential to decline to 2% in 2024 based on the state’s revenue growth. Other tax reducing measures passed by the legislature include a one-time tax rebate, eliminating the payroll tax on overtime pay, and a provision that reduces the administrative burden and costs for small business owners by increasing the sales tax reporting threshold.
Expanding school choice
Creating and expanding educational opportunities for our state’s children has been and will continue to be a top priority for the Alabama Senate Republicans. The expansion of the Alabama Accountability Act through SB263 opens the doors for more students to participate in this already successful tax credit program. Together, we’re supporting the future generations of Alabamians!
Agriculture is one of Alabama’s top producing industries, accounting for more than 20 percent of jobs in the state. The Alabama Senate Republicans continue to support farmers and agriculture across Alabama through legislative efforts. Two specific accomplishments include cutting “red tape” for farmers in reporting referendums on an asset and establishing the Logging Efficiency Grant Fund to support rural economic development.