MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate voted to go to a conference committee Thursday on legislation to claw back economic incentives from employers that recognize a labor union selected without using secret ballots.

The Senate already passed the bill earlier in April. An amended bill passed the House on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 231 (SB231), sponsored by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), states that no employer would be eligible to receive an economic development incentive for a project if the employer voluntarily grants recognition rights for the employees solely and exclusively based on signed labor organization authorization cards if the selection of a bargaining representative may be conducted through a secret ballot election.

Economic incentives apply to any grant, loan, or tax credit the state or local government provides to an employer.

Under the bill, an employer who voluntarily discloses an employee's personal contact information to a labor organization or third party acting on behalf of a labor organization without the employee's prior written consent, unless otherwise required by state or federal law, would also be ineligible for economic development incentives.

The bill does not apply to any agreement between the state and an employer executed before Jan. 1, 2025.

Orr told reporters on Thursday the conference committee would likely meet next week.

A conference committee is a temporary, ad hoc panel composed of three House and three Senate conferees formed to reconcile differences in legislation passed by both chambers.

"I was contacted by the Department of Revenue that one of the amendments put on in the House of Representatives was very problematic with them. Therefore, we're going to conference to see if we can work on that House amendment," Orr said. "I don't know the details but they contacted very quickly and said that's going to be an issue with the department so we want to work with our state agencies."

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.