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September 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Prison progress, positive press for the state and more rounds of CARES Act funding top the political and economic development news in Alabama this month.
  • Alabama Department of Corrections Negotiating with Developer Teams: Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) announced the developer teams chosen from submissions in response to the ADOC’s Request for Proposals to improve the state’s prison infrastructure. The ADOC intends to enter into negotiations for three facilities: facility one has a proposed site in Bibb County to be developed Alabama Prison Transformation Partners comprised of Star America, Harbert International, Butler-Cohen, Arrington Watkins Architects and Johnson Controls, Inc.; facility two is proposed to be developed in Elmore County by CoreCivic, Caddell Construction, DLR Group and R&N Systems Design; facility three is proposed to be developed in Escambia County by CoreCivic, Caddell Construction, DLR Group and R&N Systems Design. The procurement process will include a confidential negotiation period to secure the best possible value for the state with construction anticipated to begin in early 2021.
  • Alabama Paying $300 A Week in Extra Unemployment: Alabama recently started paying the state’s unemployed workers $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits under a federal program that replaces the $600 a week in supplemental benefits that expired under the federal stimulus package in July. The lost wages assistance program provides $300 a week in addition to Alabama’s maximum $275-a-week benefit for unemployed workers. Alabama so far has been approved for four weeks of program benefits, from the week ending August 1 through the week ending August 22. The state will apply for future weeks and will be subject to approval from the federal program administered by FEMA.
  • Alabama Ranked a Top State for Biz in Area Development Survey: Site selection professionals surveyed by Area Development, a national publication, ranked Alabama among the top states for doing business, citing a range of factors that underpin a business-friendly environment. The state ranks No.6 overall and earned top-10 rankings in 10 of 13 different categories. The individual ranks are as follows: speed of permitting, No. 2; workforce development programs, No. 3; business incentives, No. 4; favorable regulatory environment, No. 5; available real estate, No. 5; competitive labor environment, No. 6; site readiness programs, No. 6; energy availability and costs, No. 6; cooperative and responsive state government, No. 6; and overall cost of doing business, No. 7.

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