05/23/2012 – Capitol Report For May 25th – Senator Roger Bedford
Capitol Report for May 25th, 2012, Senator Roger Bedford
I’m very excited about the progress being made on the rebuilding of the Wrangler Plant building in Hackleburg. It is another sign of industry moving back into our area and agreeing to expand as well. It is a tribute to the fine work force that we have in our area. I was also pleased to see that an 8 million dollar investment will be coming to Winfield in Continental Conveying and Crushing. I think this is a commitment by this fine company to be here for the long haul.
The budget battles are very real in Montgomery. Unfortunately the new Republican Super Majority continues to want to balance the budget on the backs of the working families in Alabama, including our teachers and State employees by shifting the cost of Government to them directly by cutting their benefits. This past week we scored a victory in preserving the integrity of Medicaid in Alabama. The Republican Super Majority had proposed cutting Medicaid by $184 Million dollars, which would have endangered the whole program. They had planned on giving the money to the Department of Corrections to spent on prisons and prisoners. I thought this was a mistake.
As you may know Medicaid is an important economic engine for Alabama as well as a health care safety net. Medicaid pays for approximately %78 of all nursing home beds in Alabama and % 40 of children in Alabama get their primary health care from Medicaid and one in two live births in Alabama is paid for with Medicaid dollars.
As a long time supporter for Medicaid and mental health I decided it was time to stand up to the Republican Super Majority and reverse the priorities that they had. I said it was important to choose our Seniors and children over free health care for prisoners. As such I had offered an amendment to the General Fund Budget to shift $184 million dollars out of the prisons and into Medicaid. I am pleased to report to you that I was successful in passing that amendment and putting it on the General Fund Budget that passed the State Senate. This will allow Medicaid to be protected. The funding for prisons will be subject to a constitutional amendment being voted on in November at the general election to divert that money out of the Oil and Gas Trust Fund to pay for prisons. I feel confident that the voters in Alabama will make the right decision.
We can not endanger our seniors and children because of misplaced priorities. It his my hope that the House of Representatives and the Governor will go along with the Senate plan which passed unanimously to fund Medicaid.
I appreciate all of you who have contacted me in support of our seniors and children as they must remain a top priority.
Recently I had a lot of fun attending events and talking with people throughout the Senate District. This past Saturday morning I was checking on the building progress in Hackleburg before attending the Hamilton Customer Appreciation Day. I was glad to see so many people out there and hear Judge Mark Hammitt and his band playing. From there I traveled to Guin and Winfield before heading down to the yard sale on 129 from Glen Allen through Hubbertville. Unfortunately the Hubbertville Lions Club had sold their last polish dog right before I arrived, as I had been looking forward to dining with them. From Hubbertville I traveled to Fayette, meeting with people there, then on down to South Lamar Rescue Squad Fish Fry. They always do such a great job with fried catfish. I got a plate to go and then eased up the road through Millport to Vernon. In Vernon they were celebrating the Lamar County Relay for Life. The Franklin Relay for Life had started the night before in Russellville. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for the Survivors Lap. After Vernon I traveled to the fine volunteer fire department of Byrd. There I got a fried chicken plate and bought a wonderful pound cake. I always enjoy a slice of pound cake with some butter in the morning for breakfast . It gets the day started right with a big glass of milk.
I remain grateful to the good Lord for keeping me cancer free since January of 1990. There are so many of our friends, neighbors and family members who are fighting cancer that I hope you’ll keep them in your thoughts and prayers. It seems like every week I hear of some new friend or neighbor that has taken up the battle against this dreaded disease. The good news is that God’s still in the healing business. He is also helping us find breakthroughs in the way we fight and cure cancer.
We also received some good news last week. The EMA in Marion County has finally received it’s shelter money. Grants were approved for a total of twenty-five shelters to be funded. As you know the way these grants work %75 is reimbursable from EMA and %25 is the responsibility of the homeowner. Congratulations goes out to Marion County EMA Director Jimmy Mills and we hope the other grants will be following soon. Many of the other counties have already been receiving these grants monies and they are certainly a welcome addition.
It was a pleasure for Representative Johnny Mack Morrow and myself to present a $20,000 RC&D grant to the Town of Hodges for their Eco Tourism Equestrian Trail. We now have 26 miles of horse trails GPSed as well as constructed. The next phase of the project will be to install over night parking as well as day parking. This will help create jobs and improve the quality of life in Franklin County and throughout Northwest Alabama. When it comes to creating new jobs you must be working every day as I do. We must keep our focus on maintaining the jobs that we have and creating new jobs that our people can have good employment here at home and not have to travel outside of our area to find a job.
I’d also like to announce the following two Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grants that will directly benefit our Senate District. A grant in the amount of $15,775.00 was awarded to provide overtime funds to the law enforcement agencies in Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Tuscaloosa, Perry, Pickens, and Sumter Counties. A grant in the amount of $25,250.00 has been awarded to continue implementation of the section 406 safety belt enforcement program for the following nine North Alabama Counties, Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Morgan and Winston Counties.
The following community service grants have been awarded in our Senate District. $300 to West Elementary Special Education Department, $255 to Russellville Dixie Youth Baseball League, $500 to Russellville Tennis Team for State Play-offs, $1000 to Fayette County High School Golf Team, $1,000 to the Chucky Mullins Memorial Scholarship Fund, $800 to Phil Campbell’s 12 and under softball team, $1000 to Phil Campbell’s Junior Varsity Cheerleaders $500 to Red Bay High School’s Tennis program, $2000 to Belgreen High School’s PTO, $1000 to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, $500 to the Tri County Agency for Intellectual Disabilities, Inc, $1250 to Red Bay High School Basketball team, $500 to Red Bay High School T.R.A.C.K.S Program, $800 to Red Bay Elementary School’s Academic Awards Ceremony, and $750 to the Russellville Police Department for Law Enforcement Memorial Week activities.
As always if I can be of any assistance to you do not hesitate to give me a call.
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Senate Minority Leader
Roger Bedford & Assoc., P.C.
Attorney at Law
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
(256) 332-6966 – Direct Line Russellville Office
(256) 332-2880 – Law Firm
(256) 332-6967 – Facsimile
(334) 242-7862 – Montgomery Office
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