MONTGOMERY – A proposal to help returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans find work passed the Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday, as lawmakers continued their commitment to making job growth legislation the top priority in the 2012 Regular Session. The House also passed enabling legislation for the Alabama Job Creation and Retention Act, which allows the Governor and economic developers to use incentives similar to ones used on the Mercedes project to lure industry to the state.
“We have a laser focus on passing legislation that helps more Alabamians find jobs,” Speaker Hubbard said. “I’m particularly pleased that we have made sure to take care of our veterans with the ‘Heroes for Hire’ bill. Those who served on the front lines deserve to go to the front of the line for new jobs.”
Rep. DuWayne Bridges (R-Valley), who chairs the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, said the “Heroes for Hire” bill shows Alabama is committed to caring for its veterans.
“Our men and women in uniform have dedicated years of service to this country and made great sacrifices that too often get taken for granted,” Rep. Bridges said. “In this tough economy we need to give returning veterans every advantage we can toward landing a job. Our ‘Heroes for Hire’ bill offers that by giving businesses a $2,000 tax credit for hiring a veteran recently returned from war.”
More information on the bills:
o The “Heroes for Hire” Tax Credit Act, House Bill 152, sponsored by Rep. DuWayne Bridges (R-Valley), passed by a vote of 84 yays and no nays.
• With wars winding down in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of Alabama veterans will soon return home to a difficult economy in which it is hard to find a job.
• This proposal would offer Alabama businesses a $2,000 tax credit for hiring a veteran recently returned from war.
o The Alabama Job Creation and Retention Act, House Bill 160, sponsored by Rep. Barry Mask (R-Wetumpka), passed by a vote of 69 yays and 19 nays.
• Alabama’s success in landing world-class companies like Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai and ThyssenKrupp proves how effective tax incentives can be for bringing jobs to this state.
• This enabling bill (HB160) sets strict parameters for how incentives can be used to ensure return on investment. It requires legislative passage and referendum approval of a constitutional amendment allowing voters to give the Governor and the Alabama Development Office more flexibility in offering tax incentives to land major economic development projects and retain companies that might otherwise relocate outside Alabama without having to call a special session of the Legislature.
• House Bill 159, the constitutional amendment, was carried over by the House to be considered at a later time.