MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Senate Republican Caucus announced their legislative priorities for the 2018 legislative session at a press conference on Thursday morning at the Statehouse. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper), and other Republican state senators presented four legislative priorities, in addition to their primary objective of passing balanced budgets. The Senate Republicans’ “Fighting for Alabama” agenda will focus on legislation to spur economic growth, encourage infrastructure improvements, and protect children.
“An efficient and accountable state government is in the best interest of all Alabamians,” said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh. “We want to focus on good governance that will positively impact the lives of Alabamians.”
Bills accomplishing these goals will be given priority as they move through Senate committees, along with top placement on the calendar when debated on the Senate floor for final passage.
“Our top priority is passing balanced, responsible budgets. Beyond that, we have an agenda that’s focused on cutting taxes and bringing job growth to every part of Alabama,” stated Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed. “We are going to continue to focus on common-sense, conservative solutions to the challenges facing Alabama.”
The “Fighting for Alabama” Senate Republican Agenda includes the following items:
- Provide an Income Tax Break
Expanding the adjusted gross income range for a maximum standard deduction on Alabama income tax would provide a significant tax break for hardworking Alabama families.
- Grow Broadband and Telecom Services in Rural Alabama
By providing incentives to telecom companies to invest in rural Alabama, we will ensure all of our citizens have fast and reliable access to the internet. Studies show that faster internet leads to more investment and higher paychecks.
- Fight for Alabama’s Children by Strengthening Punishments for Child Sex Traffickers.
Senate Republicans are committed to protecting the most vulnerable Alabamians. President Trump has signed a proclamation declaring January 2018 to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In Alabama, we join President Trump in fighting to protect children from modern-day slavery. Under current law, the obstruction of an investigation into child trafficking is only a Class C felony – meaning conviction could result in merely one year in prison. Should SB179 pass, the punishment for obstruction will be increased to a Class A felony, with a minimum jail sentence of ten years.
- Save Money in Alabama’s Biggest Budget Item – Medicaid
The Alabama Legislature has worked diligently to be good stewards of the budgets we manage. Federal law requires state Medicaid agencies to recover from the estates of deceased recipients, but Alabama is the only state without a Medicaid estate recovery process – establishing a streamlined process for Medicaid to place liens on property to recover medical assistance payments will protect taxpayers’ dollars.
Led by President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus is comprised of 26 of the 35 state senators. Its members have a wide variety of professional experience from being doctors to teachers to businessmen. They are committed to serving the public in a way that makes Alabama the best place to own a business, raise a family, make a living, and spend retirement.