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10/26/2012 – Capitol Report – Sen. Roger Bedford

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Capitol Report for October 26th, 2012

It is certainly a pleasure to see the Fall weather returning. It makes attending college and high school football games a lot more fun. I’m sure it’s easier on the players, cheerleaders and band members as well.

It’s always great to see progress being made in Hackleburg and Phil Campbell as well as across the top of the mountain in Franklin County and on down to the Mt. Hope area. I’m so proud of our communities coming together after last Aprils devastating tornados and working as a team to rebuild back bigger, better and stronger. I look forward to our two new schools, K-12 in Hackleburg and a high school in Phil Campbell getting underway soon as well.

This past week we had the opportunity to give out some grants in the west end of Franklin County. Representative Morrow and I went together using our Franklin County TVA in Leu of Tax money to make the following appropriations, $500 to the Red Bay High School 8th and 9th grade trip to UNA, we were also able to give a grant of $500 to Red Bay High School FBLA to the FBLA Conference. It was also good to be able to help out the Red Bay High School Tip Off club with a $500 donation.

I want to thank the Mayor and the Red Bay City Council for joining Representative Morrow and I in re-doing the Red Bay Elementary water fountains. They were old and out of date; some were not even working at all. Representative Morrow and I made available a grant of $2000 towards that project.

It has been sometime since Vina High School was able to upgrade its athletic field equipment. As such Representative Morrow and I were happy to make a $6000 grant available to the Vina High School for a lawn mower purchase that will be used on both the baseball and football field as well as around the school campus.

I’m also continuing to work hard to see that our ATRIP road projects whether from city or counties are funded in Montgomery. We’ve had a great deal of success on these types of road grants thus far. I think it’s important that we insure that our tax dollars are brought home and put to good use.

I was also glad to see Franklin County Commission endorse the Alabama Scenic River Trail. This was followed by the City of Red Bay endorsing the Alabama Scenic River Trail which as you may know is a beautiful river trail for personal water craft along Bear Creek as it flows through the City of Red Bay in Franklin County. It is my hope that it will cover all the area into the State of Mississippi where it joins Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River water way and then into the Tenn Tom Water Way and the body of the Alabama Scenic River Trail. This eco tourism is very important to our area. As you know the Town of Hodges is doing an excellent job developing their equestrian trail and by adding this scenic river way it will hopefully bring more tourism and tourist dollars into our area.

This past week I also enjoyed a very fine presentation by Alabama works career and tech educators at the Colbert Lauderdale business industry summit. It was hosted by the Shoals Chamber of Commerce along with Colbert and Lauderdale Career Tech educators. Career tech is something I support strongly and it serves approximately 405,000 high school students with 85% of its students going directly into the work force. We must do all that we can to prepare our young people for the jobs of the 21st century.

It was great to see Judge Bob Vance who is running for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in the Shoals this past week. As you may know Judge Vance has been a trial judge in Jefferson County for ten years and a court room lawyer for more than 16 years. Judge Vance understands that the Court must work equally for all Alabamians. He is the son of the late Judge Robert S. Vance Sr. that was killed by a mail bomb while serving on the bench. He is a family man with three sons and a daughter. I’ve known Judge Vance for many years and think that he would do a good job as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

I also had an opportunity to attend the National Center for Sports Safety annual fundraiser in Birmingham. It was a very well attended event and the money raised is used to create safer playing environments for student athletics. It is headed up by Dr. Larry Lemak, the very famous surgeon and an innovator for sports safety.

We’ve had some exciting events in our district as many grants have been received and disbursed. I also wanted to congratulate Dr. Anne McNutt and the fine staff at the Fayette campus of Bevil State as the new Fayette Career Center recently held their open house.

We were fortunate to get many new grants including the City of Fayette’s $450,000.00 community development grant. As you know these grants are becoming tougher to receive, so I am continuing my fight to make sure that our tax dollars are returned here to us in goods and services.

I’m glad to see so many highway projects going on thorough out the Senate District. It’s my hope that we can soon get Corridor X tied in to Birmingham where it will officially become interstate 22 and Corridor Y which is Highway 24 going through Franklin County, four lane completed and down to joining I-22 in Mississippi. This will complete a dream that comes from Congressman Tom Bevil when he first started this project back in the late 1970’s. I want to thank Senator Shelby for also being a strong supporter of this program.

I recently had the privilege of driving over to Helfin to speak at the Cleburne County Democratic Club. They have many strong candidates running for local offices including Probate Judge, Superintendent of Education and County Commission. They have a very active and enthusiastic group with my good friend Darrell Turner as the Chairman. I enjoyed getting to see many old friends, including former Representative John Casey and his wife and meeting so many other new friends.

As the election gets closer I hope all of you will exercise your right to vote. That is what our Veterans have fought for in the past and are currently risking their lives for today. The right to vote is such a special right that we have here in America and Alabama that it should never be taken for granted. We all know from the tragedies that we’ve seen around the world and the heart felt loses we felt right her in our Senate District, as Veterans have died fighting to protect our freedoms, that freedom is not free. So let’s all turn out and vote for the candidate of your choice.

I was glad to see our Senate District voting to go along with passing the amendment to transfer the monies out of the Rainy Day Savings Account known as the Alabama Trust Fund for the next three years to help ease the burden on Medicaid. As I said in my endorsement of this amendment, it is not the best way to run government but it was the best way presented to us by the new Super Majority GOP in the Alabama Legislature.

The Republican Super Majority had simply said they were going to make horrendous cuts that we could not stand to Medicaid, Mental Health and our Veterans had the amendment not passed.

It is my hope that in the future we can hold the Republicans accountable to pay the money back like they have said they would do, but refuse to put the wording in the new law to do so. A savings account only works if you pay it back during the good times so you can draw on it again during the bad times.

Congratulations to Lamar County for having an open house and ribbon cutting at Lamar County Alabama Entrepreneur Research Center this past Wednesday. This important learning tool will provide valuable resources needed by many local entrepreneurs to make better informed decisions about the type, size and the location of business they should consider as well as to plan the businesses future expansion.

I am so proud to see so many of our high school teams doing well. While it’s great to root for the winning team it is important to know that those on the losing side have tried just as hard to be winners and by doing so have become winners. People can earn great skill sets that serve them well the rest of their lives when they participate in extracurricular activities whether it’s cheerleading, band, football or other sports, as they learn discipline, sacrifice and team play. Congratulations goes out to the Coach with the most wins in Berry Wildcat football history, Head Coach Danny Raines who just accomplished his 70th career win as coach of the Wildcats. Let’s continue to turn out and support our local teams whether it’s volleyball, jr high football or varsity football, and don’t forget the midget football teams.

Congratulations goes out to Fayette High School Senior Hannah Crowley who was crowned the 2012 Homecoming Queen during the half time festivities held Friday, October 12th in Fayette. Also congratulations to all the fine ladies on the Homecoming Courts throughout the Senate District.

You may rest assured that I will continue to work with our existing businesses to help them expand as well as work to locate new jobs in our area. The best way to have revenue to run State government is to create jobs and have an expanding economy, not raise taxes.

Thank you for all the phone calls, letters and e-mails about your concerns dealing with the issues facing us at the State and local level. Please continue to contact me at the following address.

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone 334-242-7862, Fax 334-242-9202
Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 256-332-6966 Fax 256-332-6967
Email: senbedford@aol.com
Website: http://www.RogerBedford.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

October 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM

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