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March 2, 2020 Group Watch: GE Appliances Adds 255 Jobs in AL Project

GE Appliances officially marked completion of a $125 million investment project at its Decatur refrigerator plant, which boosted production capacity, added new “smart “ technology and increased the site’s workforce. The project increases production capacity by 25 percent and ensures early compliance with 2022 refrigerant changes, making the Alabama plant

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March 2, 2020 Group Watch: New Board Members for Manufacture AL

Manufacture Alabama announced that its board of directors has elected Carl Gunter as the new board chair. He is mill manager of International Paper in Prattville and will serve a two-year term that began on February 4, 2020. Additionally, the board of directors elected Jason Slinkard as vice chair. He

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

In the third week of session, a lot of basic business got done: approval by the Senate of the continuation of multiple and various sunset bills. A bill raising the marriage age made it through committee. And the medical marijuana bill made more progress (see separate article below). Here’s a

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Bill Restricting Occupational Taxes Advances

A bill to require cities to get approval from the legislature before passing new occupational taxes or license taxes moved a step closer to passing, despite opposition from the mayors of the state’s 10 largest cities. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bill by Rep. Chris Sells, which has

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Tweet of the Week

@alabamacounts Feb 20 State leaders say this could be the most important census in Alabama history. Make #ALCount on March 12.

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Lawmakers Move to Block Smoking in Cars with Kids

The House passed a bill last week to prohibit smoking or vaping in vehicles carrying children ages 14 and younger. Rep. Rolanda Hollis of Birmingham was the bill’s sponsor, and it passed by a vote of 78-19. The bill would impose a fine up to $100 for violations. Violations would

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Bill to Allow College Athletes Compensation Introduced in the House

A bill that would allow college athletes to make money off the use of their name and likeness was introduced in the House last week. The “Fair Pay to Play” bill, sponsored by Rep. Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery) is a hot topic and should see some good debate in coming weeks.

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Blue Origin Opens AL Rocket Facility

Last week, Blue Origin opened a sprawling factory in Alabama’s “Rocket City” that will allow the spaceflight company to accelerate production of its heavy-lift BE-4 rocket engine and create hundreds of jobs. The BE-4, which is under development, will power Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket as well as the United

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

Last week, a medical marijuana bill cleared its first hurdle in the  legislature when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill by a vote of 8-1 (with one member abstaining). The bill by Republican Senator Tim Melson would allow people to be prescribed medical marijuana for 15 conditions including cancer, anxiety

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February 24, 2020 Group Watch: Landfill Bill Makes Progress

A bill that clarifies which materials (other than dirt) can be used as “alternative cover” at landfill sites and also spells out how the Alabama Department of Environmental Management will decide what is and isn’t allowed unanimously passed the House last Thursday, despite early opposition from some Democrats.

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