Weaver’s pro-small business bill signed into law

FROM STAFF REPORTS

A bill sponsored by state Rep. April Weaver, R-Brierfield, was signed into law April 21 after it overwhelmingly passed both houses of the Alabama Legislature.

House Bill 61, which was Weaver’s first bill, will allow owners of businesses with fewer than 25 employees to deduct from their state tax returns 200 percent of what they spend on health insurance premiums.

Weaver, who is the director of business development at Alabaster’s Shelby Baptist Medical Center, said she sponsored the bill to provide extra capital for the state’s small businesses.

The bill will also allow employees who earn less than $50,000 per year and are employed by companies with fewer than 25 employees to also deduct from their state tax returns 100 percent of the amount they pay in health insurance premiums as part of an employer-provided insurance plan.

Before the bill was enacted, small business employers and employees were only allowed to deduct from their tax returns 50 percent of the amount they pay in health insurance premiums.

“Offering such an incentive will encourage more companies to offer healthcare benefits and more employees to take advantage of it, reducing the number of Alabamians currently uninsured,” read an Alabama Senate press release.