Though there’s a lot of people unhappy with the way session ended Governor Robert Bentley is looking on the bright side.
In a release Tuesday afternoon Bentley praised lawmakers for passing a significant portion of his legislative agenda this session. His email notes that in total, lawmakers passed 375 bills and 144 resolutions during the session.
“Despite the failure to find a solution to the General Fund Budget crisis, I am proud of the work and the accomplishments achieved during the 2015 Regular Session,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “In my State of the State Address on March 3rd, I outlined a number of key initiatives that were designed to move Alabama forward and make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family. I appreciate the Alabama Legislature supporting my agenda and working together to make Alabama better for generations to come.”
Some of the key bills he’s highlighting are below.
Made in Alabama Jobs Incentive Package
- HB57, HB58 and HB59 change the way Alabama incentivizes companies to relocate, reinvest and create jobs for Alabamians. This legislation will ensure Alabama remains a leader in recruiting new industry and helping our existing businesses continue to thrive.
Fostering Hope Scholarship Legislation
- SB157 will offer children currently or formerly in Alabama’s Foster Care System the opportunity to receive a scholarship for a 2-year education, 4-year education or job training opportunities.
Prison Reform Legislation
- SB67 is designed to significantly reduce the state’s prison population and bolster public safety through an overhaul of how people are supervised after being released from incarceration.
Domestic Violence Legislation
- HB320 is aimed at strengthening domestic violence laws and providing more shelters and victim services in Alabama.
Alabama Voluntary Pre-K
- Governor Bentley recommended and the Alabama Legislature supported a $10 million increase to Alabama’s Voluntary Pre-K Program. With the increase, more than 200 new grants were announced that will provide over 3,600 additional Alabama four-year-olds with access to high-quality, voluntary pre-kindergarten.
Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees
- SB191 created a new appointed board to govern the state’s two-year college system. With a focus on strong workforce development for students, Governor Bentley appointed 8 new trustees who received Senate confirmation this session.
Real Property Consolidation
- Governor Bentley commissioned a study last year to optimize the management of the State’s real property. SB76 will allow for the centralization of the management of the State’s real property into a singular division in the Department of Finance, saving millions of taxpayer dollars as the legislation is implemented.
- Recommended by the Governor’s Alabama Workforce Council, HB554 streamlines workforce development efforts across state government, creating a one-stop-shop for job creation and meeting industries’ needs.
Beyond the bills he’s passed he also made it a point to highlight the success of his appointments he made which were confirmed by the senate.
He ended with some hope for the budget. We join him in sharing that sentiment.
“This legislative session included significant victories for future job creation, opportunities to continue to make government more efficient and further strides related to an improved educational foundation. While much work remains to be done with the General Fund Budget before October 1, I am optimistic that lawmakers will be as committed to transforming the way state government budgets just as they were to passing important legislation in the 2015 session,” Bentley added.