On Wednesday, the Alabama Joint Legislative Task Force on Budget Reform met for the first time in Montgomery, AL, to begin work on recommendations that will be made to the Alabama Legislature for the 2017 Regular Session. While this initial meeting was primarily to gauge interest in members’ desires and sub-committee appointments, it was informative regarding the actual charge of the committee and what the committee sees as possible results.
When the meeting began, Rep. Danny Garret (R-Trussville) and Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) were elected co-chairs of the committee and will lead the process for the next five months.  The committee is made up of seven members from the House of Representatives and seven members of the Alabama Senate.
Also at the meeting, co-chairs Garrett and Chambliss decided to create five sub-committees based on the charges in the original resolution passed during the Special Session that created the task force. The sub-committees are Biennial Budgeting, State Entity Performance and Program Review, Unearmarking, Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions, and Tax Relief.  Members of the committee were asked which areas they wished to serve and over the next few days both Garrett and Chambliss will begin assigning members to the sub-committees.
At this point in the process, the committee seems set on gathering information from all parties involved, including trade associations. Of particular interest to credit unions will be the findings of the Sub-Committee on Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions. Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) already has expressed a desire to have credits, deductions, and exemptions reviewed on a regular basis by the legislature in order to make sure they are still serving the purpose for which they were created.
Future meeting dates for this task force and sub-committees have yet to be determined, but it is required to meet monthly until the beginning of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session in February.
The LSCU Advocacy Team will continue to keep you up-to-date on this and all other advocacy issues.