MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Mayors of Alabama’s ten biggest cities have partnered to tell lawmakers what priorities they want to see addressed this legislative session.
The “Big 10” Mayors represent about 75% of the state’s population. That’s why Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says they have a good grasp on knowing what matters to Alabamians.
“As Mayors, we understand the bread-and-butter issues,” Maddox said.
One of those issues is economic growth. Mayors say renewing economic incentives that draw business to the state under the Alabama Jobs Act and Growing Alabama Act is a top priority.
“Anything we can do to continue job creation, because that helps people pay their mortgage, send their children to college, enjoy a higher quality of life, we’re going to be in full support of,” Maddox said.
Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling says his city has seen big benefits from that legislation already.
“Recently we’ve had 450 new jobs announced here in Decatur. United Launch Alliance just received the largest order for rockets in space exploration history,” Bowling said.
Lawmakers are expected to consider bills on that issue later in the session. Mayors also want to see faster prosecution of those using glock switches on guns.
“Being able to address the glock switches, which turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. That is certainly something I don’t think anyone wants and speaks to the fact that technology has evolved, and we need to make laws evolve with it,” Maddox said.
Another top issue is banning exhibition driving. It’s something Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has supported.
“It has continued to be reckless, more dangerous, and citizens expect us to do something about it,” Woodfin said.
Many of these issues will be considered when lawmakers return to the statehouse April 4.