Tough ’09 session is ahead for lawmakers

Published 11:11 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

As lawmakers sharpen their pencils for a legislative session in the midst of one of the toughest economic climates in modern history, Gov. Bob Riley delivered his State of the State address Tuesday evening.

Gov. Riley urged lawmakers to enact tax breaks to revitalize Alabama’s ailing economy and pass a stronger ethics law to rebuild public confidence.

Riley’s State of the State speech Tuesday night served as a pep talk about how the state successfully battled its way through economic troubles during his first year in office in 2003.

Then, he outlined a plan for doing it again in 2009.

The governor said he would propose tax credits for businesses that hired the unemployed and tax breaks to attract research and development companies, corporate headquarters and the emerging eco-friendly economy.

Riley also said a tougher ethics law would make Alabama more attractive to businesses.

Challenges await lawmakers down every avenue in Montgomery; down every alley and in every bar and grill.

Alabama’s small businesses have had to learn how to do more with less, and it’s going to take that same kind of thinking as we navigate through these lean times.

That’s a challenge like our legislators haven’t faced in a long time.