Sparks, Bentley debate jobs at Samford University

September 20, 2010, 8:45pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Gubernatorial candidates debated illegal immigration, tax incentives for businesses and how to promote job growth in the state and in Birmingham at the Samford University Wright Center Monday night.

Republican nominee Robert Bentley said he wants to offer tax breaks to businesses who hire people off of the unemployment roles in the short term. He said he would continue to pledge to take no salary until unemployment dropped to 5.2 percent.

"In the long term, I want to create an environment to recruit industry into Alabama as a right to work state, have well-trained workers through our two-year university system and keep the cost of business low and the cost of energy low," Bentley said.

Ron Sparks, Democratic nominee and Alabama commissioner of agriculture and industries, said $1.4 billion in government spending on infrastructure would create 38,000 jobs for the state in his jobs plan

Information from: The Birmingham Business Journal,