Opelika lawmaker Jeremy Gray helps ensure Alabama’s competitiveness in the technology and startup sector by serving on the state’s first commission focused on promoting innovation.
“My job is to collaborate with the great business minds on the commission and advisory council members to craft legislation that will cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship in Alabama,” said Gray, who has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2018 representing District 83.
Gov. Kay Ivey established the 15-member Commission, known as Innovate Alabama, in July 2020 as the state’s first statewide commission focused on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. It’s broken up into two subcommittees: Education and Corporate and Finance and Infrastructure.
Gray serves on the Finance & Infrastructure Committee led by Republication Senate Majority Leader and vice chair of the commission Greg Reed of Jasper. Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa serves as chair of the commission.
“I’m looking forward to policy geared towards development of a statewide innovation coordination and incentive structure, providing for a private advisor exemption, and funding and launching an Alabama branding campaign,” Gray said of the initiative.
A native of Opelika, Gray serves on the Commerce and Small Business, Health, Lee County and Public Safety and Homeland Security committees.
“I hope what we are doing will help the growth of Alabama and the opportunities provided through regulatory, legislative action and appropriation will be impactful, and bring about change," Gray said.
Ivey sent a Tweet Wednesday morning following the Commission’s first virtual meeting of 2021 saying she “looks forward to continuing to collaborate with [Innovate Alabama] as we evaluate innovation to create a more resilient, inclusive and robust economy.”
The commission also includes a six-member advisory council of innovation leaders with Alabama ties, including Alabama Power Executive Vice President Zeke Smith and former U.S. Secretary of State and incoming director of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Condoleezza Rice.