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Gov. Kay Ivey signs three priority bills into law supporting jobs, recovery from pandemic

MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey on Friday morning signed into law three priority bills passed this week by the Alabama Legislature: HB 170, HB 192 and SB 30.

All three bills have been heralded by pro-business organizations, such as the Business Council of Alabama and National Federation of Independent Business, as important for economic growth and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

HB 170 and HB 192 received unanimous final passage by the Senate on Wednesday after originating in the House.

Sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) and Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook), HB 170 — among other tax reform measures through the Business Tax Competitiveness Act — would ensure that federal stimulus funds derived from the CARES Act and subsequent coronavirus relief legislation are not subject to state income taxes. This includes relief funds for businesses through the job-saving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). That aspect of HB 170 comes through the Alabama Taxpayer Stimulus Freedom Act.

HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) and Senate Pro Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper), would renew and improve job creation incentives found in the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Act.

RELATED: Business Council of Alabama praises legislature’s strong stand for jobs to begin 2021 regular session

SB 30 received final passage by the House on Thursday in a resounding, bipartisan vote after originating in the Senate.

Sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and carried in the lower chamber by Rep. David Faulkner (R-Homewood), this bill would provide “safe harbor” civil liability protections to shield businesses, health care providers, academic institutions, churches and other entities against frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits.

Ivey issued a statement on Friday after signing all three of the bills, for which she had announced her support during her State of the State Address earlier this month.

“While the impact of COVID-19 has been felt across the country and around the world, we remain committed to helping Alabamians and Alabama businesses get back on their feet and our state moving forward,” said Ivey. “These three bills, without question, were necessary to address up front, and I am proud of the Alabama Legislature for taking care of the people’s business, despite the obvious challenges of this legislative session.”

“Thanks to their work, the people of Alabama who received any type of CARES Act dollars will not pay one penny in state income taxes on that relief,” she outlined. “Additionally, we are ensuring that our state will continue to grow our diverse economy, and we are protecting our existing businesses from any frivolous lawsuits due to COVID-19. Again, I commend the Alabama Legislature and am thrilled to officially sign these three bills into law.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn