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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Byrne Unveils Jobs Plan

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne is starting his new year by promising "New Jobs for a New Alabama" and a pledge no new taxes on Alabamians.

During a Tuesday press conference, Byrne outlined just a portion of his plan for how he would create new jobs and grow the state’s economy.

"Most Alabamians have felt the sting of this economic downturn one way or another and many are anxious about what the future holds," Byrne said. "That’s why I’m starting off the New Year with my commitment to ‘New Jobs for a New Alabama,’" Byrne said.

In addition to no new taxes, Byrne said he wants to offer targeted incentives such as tax breaks for small businesses that hire unemployed workers and increasing the incentives for small business that offer employees health insurance and the employees that buy it.

Byrne said if he is elected governor he would establish an Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship inside the governor’s office to consolidate information, research business development opportunities and provide guidance for job makers.

"Nobody running for governor has the experience I have in work force training," Byrne said.

Byrne, who served as the chancellor of the two-year college system before he stepped down to run for governor, said that Alabama is being recognized as a leader in workforce training and it’s time for the state to act on its expertise. He said Gov. Bob Riley has laid the foundation for the future of economic development in the state and the next governor of the state has to be ready to build on that foundation.

Byrne said he would build on that foundation by working with the state’s two- and four-year colleges and universities to incubate new high-tech businesses.

In addition, Byrne’s plan also includes fighting what he calls "job-killing" initiatives and legislation, particularly federal bills such as those that impact health care reform, cap emissions and allegedly make it easier for workers to unionize.

Byrne singled out all such federal legislation as threats to Alabama’s economy that the next governor of the state should join with other governors to fight. Byrne said he would continue to roll out the details of his job creation plan over the month of January as he campaigns around the state.

"If ever there is a time to ‘think outside the box,’ this is it," he said. "If we’re going to take Alabama to the next level, we must start thinking big and boldly."

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks
UPDATE: Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne picked up another business endorsement. The Alabama Retail Association endorsed Byrne on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Byrne picked up the endorsement of the Alabama Association of Realtors in December.


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