AL Sparks Spearheads Legislative Effort in Mobile

Randall Weiseman Alabama, Energy, General

MONTGOMERY – Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Ron Sparks announced today that he will spearhead a legislative mission to Mobile to assess the current situation and seek legislative remedies for the state.

Sparks also proposed expanding unemployment benefits to those displaced by the oil spill and granting extensions, waivers and discounts to individuals and businesses on their state property, sales and income taxes if impacted by the oil spill.

Sparks will be joined by the leadership of the Alabama legislature as they seek to find solutions to the unique problems the oil spill will bring to the state. The groups expect to tour the area Monday as the oil moves onshore.

“We cannot waste a day,” Sparks said. “People are already losing their jobs, the economy is already suffering and the oil isn’t even here yet. We need to prepare for this catastrophe that will affect Alabama for the days, months and years to come.”

Among the legislative leaders that Sparks has already contacted are Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr., Senate Majority Leader Zeb Little, Senate President Pro Tempore Rodger Smitherman, General Fund Chairman Senator Roger Bedford, Rules Chairman Senator Lowell Barron, and House Majority Leader Ken Guin.

Sparks has sent letters to Speaker of the House Seth Hammett, House General Fund Chairman John Knight, Senate Minority Leader Jabo Waggoner, and House Minority Leader Mike Hubbard asking them to join him as they figure out solutions.

“It’s important that we begin now to find legislative remedies for this terrible accident,” Sparks said. “I want to help the people who are suffering down here. And I want to expand unemployment benefits to people displaced by the oil spill.”

The legislative leadership has agreed to join Sparks in Mobile. Sparks has also sent letters to every member of the Legislature inviting them to come.