Late last week, the Alabama State Senate Democrats released information on their agenda for the legislative session of 2016, an agenda that includes casino proposals, the lottery and an increase in minimum wage. Titled ‘Empowering Alabama Families’, the agenda would provide what the democrats are calling incentives for everyday hardworking Alabamians.
Senator Priscilla Dunn stated in a news release that there is so much focus on providing incentives for large corporations to locate to Alabama, nothing is being done for residents. The agenda includes a proposed amendment to the constitution that would allow both the lottery and casinos to enter the state. Proceeds from both would go towards an Education Trust Fund as well as General Fund. The caucus wants to include casinos with the lottery in order to create jobs for the state.
Senator Linda Coleman has created a bill to see the minimum wage increased to $10 as part of the agenda. Another bill, this one created by Senator Bobby Singleton, will restrict companies that receive incentives or other funds from the Alabama Department of Commerce when temporary workers are considered more than 5% of the workforce.
Additional measures are included in the agenda that cover health insurance, property taxes, photo voter ID, and more. However, all eyes will be on the lottery and casino section as residents of the state have either been waiting to see these activities offered or want to ensure they never take place within the state. The legislative session begins tomorrow and only eight seats are taken by democrats so the plans may have a long way to go if they ever are able to come to fruition in the 35 member Senate.