Teacher pay raises, gun control highlight 2013 legislative session
By Slade Blackwell
Last week I had the opportunity to host Coffee & Conversation with Trussville Mayor Gene Melton and several members of the Trussville community. We had an engaging conversation about issues that will be coming up in this year’s legislative session as well as ones that are important in the Trussville area. Some of the major issues discussed were government efficiency and growth of Alabama businesses, among others. The 2013 legislative session begins this week and I will continue to focus on smart legislation that will help our businesses and economy grow.
In a continuation from the last legislative session, I am sponsoring a business ONESPOT bill that is aimed at making it easier to do business in Alabama. This legislation will streamline the business license process by reducing the number of state licenses from 36 to six. The burdensome red tape that so many business owners in Alabama encounter today will be eliminated.
One of the major issues this session will be the streamlining of public safety in the state. Alabama currently has three times as many public safety agencies compared to the national average. The bill to consolidate public safety will reduce the agencies from 26 to seven. This is expected to save the state more than $30 million per year.
The Historic Tax Credit Bill, which I am sponsoring, will provide incentives for the restoration of historic properties throughout the state. Tax credits for the redevelopment of these properties will help revitalize historic downtown areas not only in Birmingham but throughout Alabama.
Other issues to watch this session are teacher pay raises, Medicaid, the general fund and gun control. It is going to be interesting to see how these issues will be addressed, especially with budget limitations. As always, please contact me if you have any legislative needs. We need to continue to work together for improvements for Trussville and the entire state for 2013.
Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Jefferson and Shelby counties in District 15. For more information about Slade, visit www.sladeblackwell.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @sladeblackwell. To reach him by phone, call (205) 396-1144.