Birmingham proposes entertainment districts, plus 10 other priorities to Alabama legislature

Montgomery Alabama
Photo by: Pat Byington of the Alabama State Capitol

This week, the Birmingham City Council passed a resolution supporting several initiatives for the 2022 Alabama legislative session in Montgomery, which began on Tuesday, January 11th.

The proposed agenda, which is supported by Mayor Randall Woodfin, includes a wide variety of measures, from entertainment district expansion to expanding rural broadband policy to include urban areas.

The Agenda

Entertainment Districts
On June 22, 2020, Avondale became Birmingham’s 4th designated entertainment district. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Below is the City of Birmingham State Legislative Agenda for 2022.

  • Expansion of entertainment district from 5 to 15This legislation nearly passed in 2021. Here are the details about last year’s bill. 
  • Access capital for minority owned and small businesses – Expand state tax credits to qualified fund managers making loans to these businesses.
  • Automated Photographic Traffic Enforcement System – Allow law enforcement to have another tool to enforce traffic laws
  • Enhance Broadband PolicyExpand definition of Rural in broadband policy to include urban areas and increase affordability of broadband
  • Amend Alabama Competitive State Bid Law –  Add computer and software applications and automotive parts exception
  • Legislation to enhance fines for littering, dumping and weed abatement – Enable cities like Birmingham to strengthen fines.
  • Expand State’s Voluntary Pre-K Program – Support increased funding to allow additional reading coaches to grades 1-3.
  • Increase tourism dollars to Birmingham
  • Additional legislative issues the City of Birmingham will advocate at the state agency level and/or push for inclusion for a specific allocation in State budget:
  1. Support Housing Authority of Birmingham District’s Alabama State Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  2. Sustained funding in State budget for Red Mountain Park, Ruffner Park and Turkey Creek
  3. Continued increase in State funding for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and planning for consumer education

A Unified Birmingham is Important

Birmingham City Hall at Sunset 2021
Birmingham City Hall in 2021. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

State Senator Rodger Smitherman, a veteran legislator who has represented Birmingham for 30+ years, commended the city for bringing forth a unified agenda.

“It’s wonderful that the council and the mayor are working hand in hand together and bringing one agenda versus each one of them bringing a separate agenda. I think that shows the kind of unity that we need to have when we are trying to move that legislation. I think the agenda is doable.”

What do you think of the City of Birmingham State Legislative Agenda? Comment on social media and tag us at @bhamnow

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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