49 County News.Net

Marion County Information With a Neighborly Appeal!

Posts Tagged ‘Capitol Report

05/29/2014 – Capitol Report For May 29th, 2014 – AL Senator Roger Bedford

leave a comment »

It was certainly an honor to speak at the Hackleburg High School Baccalaureate Ceremony this past week. I am very proud of the Hackleburg Senior Class because of their perseverance and determination. Like the Senior Class of Phil Campbell, they have not only had to live through the destruction of the horrible tornado that ripped through both of the communities, but also they have had to continue their education in temporary classrooms. Several of the Seniors shared with me stories of difficult times within the temporary structures but all of them looked on with joy at their future graduating class mates graduating from brand new high schools at Hackleburg and Phil Campbell. I want to be sure to thank all the ministers in attendance that evening at the Baccalaureate ceremony but especially Pastor Sam Morgan at the Hackleburg First Baptist Church which opened their beautiful sanctuary for this important and meaningful occasion.

This past week I also met with Gunter Guy, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Waterloo Alabama. We met with County Commissioner Fay Parker, Mayor Mary Jennelee Higgins as well as City Council Members, Mel Grimes, Jack Harris, Neil Scott, Joan Farneman and Jeanie Green to discuss the very important issue of where to locate the future expansion of a new building and storage yard in the Waterloo area. I agree with the Mayor and other concerned citizens that we do not need to put the expansion on the proposed location which is the lot on the right as you enter the town. There are other lands, already owed by the Department of Conservation and\or the State of Alabama, which would be just as suitable. I was pleased that we were able to secure the State’s commitment to not take any actions until after the Trail of Tears event so as to not disrupt that important tourism as well as historical event.

It was an honor for me to join Representative Johnny Mack Morrow to announce Governor Bentley’s appointment of Patricia Montgomery to the Bear Creek Development Authority. Mrs. Montgomery will represent the state well and help us bring in tourism dollars to boost our local economy. Governor Bentley said in part in his appointment letter of Mrs. Montgomery as follows “Appointing you to this position comes with great responsibility because you will be making important decisions that affect the citizens of Alabama. Honesty and integrity are two virtues that I prioritize for my administration to exemplify, and I know that you will do the same while in service to our great state.” I could not agree with the Governor more.

As always it was a pleasure to see the fine men and women of American Legion Post 11 in Colbert County during their fine Memorial Day service. I also enjoyed, as I did last year, having the opportunity to have lunch with them at their upstairs office in downtown Tuscumbia. I was moved by the stirring remarks by the young marine who was the keynote speaker.

I am very saddened to see the sad state of healthcare for our fine veterans that I am seeing on the national news. Our veterans deserve good and effective healthcare. I hope that the President and Congress will thoroughly investigate this matter and will appropriately fire the people who have misused their positions as well as work to improve the overall healthcare delivery system to our fine veterans. They deserve no less.

It was an honor to be able to speak at the Morgan County ADC banquet in Decatur this past week. I appreciated my good friend George Herring, whom I’ve known for 25 years, invited me over to be the keynote speaker. Some of the topics I discussed were the need for programs that help retain existing jobs and attract new better paying jobs to our area. It is important to remember that our existing businesses provide approximately 78% of all new jobs year in and year out. When we attract big plants and new jobs to our area it is a wonderful thing, however we must never forget our existing businesses and make sure that they are supported and that government does not unduly burden them with red tape.

I am pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Transportation will accept bids on May 30th for the following important highway projects in our Senate District. In Winston County the highway work will be on the resurfacing and traffic striping on County Road 69, also known as Newburg Road from 11th Avenue to the Franklin County Line.

In Colbert County the project is the resurfacing and traffic striping on State Road 2, also known as US 72, from .26 miles east of County Road 1, MP 2.434 to County Road 5 MP 5.300.

In Marion County there will be a resurfacing and traffic striping project on State Road 17 in Hackleburg from Old Hackleburg Road MP 291.400 to 70 feet east of North Street MP 291.800. All of these projects are much needed in our district and I was pleased to work with the State and County officials to secure these projects which will lead to greater safety on our roads and bridges.

It is a pleasure to see so many of our fine seniors graduating from high schools across our Senate District and the great state of Alabama. Our seniors have worked hard to achieve this important milestone in their life. It is important for us to recognize their work and congratulate them on this achievement while also encouraging them to further their academic and vocational education. A special congratulation also goes out to the family members of our graduates, whose support, love and backing helped enable these fine young men and women meet this important milestone in their lives. As such graduates, I hope you will take the time to say thanks to the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and other family support members.

I recently attended a jobs fair program in the Shoals area where high school students were shown the great career opportunities that are available through vocational tech and career tech programs. Skill traits such as robotic repair, iron working, carpentry and computer programming are just a few examples of areas where there is a growing shortage of trained labor. This is also true in the health care industry, and that is one of the reasons we see so many of our fine students going into the field of nursing and physical therapy. As our population continues to age in America as well as Alabama the need for more healthcare workers continues to grow. All of these are examples of good jobs which pay good wages that will allow you to raise your family well.

Thank you all for contacting me and please continue to do so at the following address(s)

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

(Copyright ©2006-2014 http://www.49CountyNews.net . All Rights Reserved.) This is a Free Service of 49 County News.net We simply ask that any reprint of this article include the Copyright. For More Information Contact: jmays@49countynews.net Disclaimer

Written by 49 County News.Net

May 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

05/16/2014 – Capitol Report From The Office Of Senator Roger Bedford – May 16th, 2014

leave a comment »

It was certainly a pleasure to participate in so many American Cancer Society Relay for Life events. I want to congratulate the literally thousands of volunteers and supporters throughout our Senate District. Once again Northwest Alabama came in strong supporting the fight against cancer. My wife Maudie, who thanks to God’s healing grace was cured from breast cancer, was the featured speaker at the Franklin County American Cancer Society Survivor Dinner. While Maudie is always nervous when speaking to the public, I thought she did an outstanding job and related directly to all of us cancer survivors and our care givers. So as someone who had a bone marrow transplant at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in January of 1990, I want to thank you personally because some of the early money used to develop bone marrow transplant procedures, came from the American Cancer Society. You never know how the dollars we are raising here locally might affect our friends and neighbors in a positive manner.

I want to thank Muscle Shoals High School’s new principal Chad Holden for taking the time to tour me through our fine Muscle Shoals High School. It was good to talk with the bright students and excellent facility they have there. The school lunch was also delicious.

I want to congratulate Lawrence County and the City of Hillsboro on recently landing 100 new jobs. The company IT-TRI LLC., plans to invest 68 million dollars to build a steel tubing and pipe manufacturing plant in Lawrence County at the Mallard Fox West Industrial Complex. I am proud to support the local and state officials in helping to locate these jobs in Lawrence County. They will help make up for some of the jobs lost with International Paper, who unfortunately pulled out of Lawrence County and shut down it’s operations. IT-TRI President Rick Werner, CEO\President of Independence Tube, said the company plans to begin operations by the end of 2014 and create 100 jobs before 2016. Werner stated the investment includes 29 million dollars for land and buildings, 38 million dollars for manufacturing and equipment and 1 million dollars for personal property and I believe this is a good solid investment in the future of Lawrence County and all of North Alabama.

It’s also a pleasure to congratulate the City of Russellville for obtaining a grant that I was glad to support which amounts to $977,000 for road work on Lawrence Street. As you know this important road runs in front of Innovative Hearth Products, IHP Plant, which we helped to locate this past year. It will employ about 250 new jobs in Russellville. This road expansion will help the plant to expand and I am proud to help create these new jobs.

Recently I was reviewing the progress on the sewer improvements in the town of Hackleburg. You will recall that we were able to obtain project grants after the destruction power of the tornado that hit us in 2011. I’m pleased to report to you that while instillation of the system does divert traffic and cause some problems for pedestrians, it will hopefully be in place as early as July but no longer than August of this year. This will help us keep jobs in the area as well as attract new jobs by having a new sewer system. As it comes to the some 200 local residents who will be available to tie on to the system, I hope that local water and sewer board will work with them to provide a fair agreement to those that decide not to hook up to the sewer system, so that hopefully they will not be charged for services not rendered.

I also want to extend congratulations to the individual athletes and teams that competed so well in Selma this past week. Many of our high school and individual athlete achievements were recognized at the state track meet because of their outstanding accomplishments. It takes a lot of hard work all season long, and often times in the off season to be able to compete at the state level. Once again, our local teams and athletes have made all of us proud.

While we are talking about some of the great schools in our District, it is my hope that Winfield will soon receive the official honor of becoming a Blue Ribbon School. The mound of paper work has now been completed and turned in and it is my hope that this school system will receive one of the highest honors for any school in America by being given the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon School Award. We can all take pride in the great job in which our teachers and support personnel do in educating the work force as well as the leaders of the 21st Century.

When it comes to industrial development we have been fortunate to see the success generated in part by our local Economic Development Associations, it was my pleasure many years ago to help work to establish the C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance as well as the Franklin County Industrial Development Authority. By having full time local people on the ground 24\7 I believe it helps not only keep jobs here but attracts new jobs. Some good news as we have recently expanded the Economic Development marketing agent representing local governments throughout Marion, Lamar and Fayette County, as well as private individuals and members by adding the Honorable Ron Davis to the C3 staff as a part time Vice President of Business Development. He brings a great deal of business background to out C3 recruitment areas, specifically in the area of automotive production.

Thank you all for contacting me and please continue to do so at the following address(s)

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

http://www.49CountyNews.net . All Rights Reserved. Any reprint or copy of this article must include the aforementioned Copyright in its entirety.) Contact: jmays@49countynews.net

Disclaimer

Written by 49 County News.Net

May 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM

05/07/2014 – State Senator Roger H. Bedford, Jr, Capitol Report For May 7th, 2014

leave a comment »

Last month we concluded the 2014 Annual Alabama Legislative Session. As with any session it had its high points and low points. While I am pleased that we were able to pass both the Special Education Trust Fund and the General Education Trust Fund, I was deeply disappointed that the Republican Super Majority would not allow our hard working teachers, support personnel and state employees to receive a cost of living raise. These raises were affordable and we could have given them as the Governor suggested, but they simply were not the priority of the Super Majority group in control.

I offered amendments which would have fully funded a cost of living raise for both teachers and state employees without raising taxes or cutting essential programs. Both times these raises were defeated, and I’m sorry to say that now a quadrennial has passed without teachers or state employees receiving any meaningful pay increases, despite the fact that gasoline, milk and other services continue to go up.

I was pleased to see that we were able to strengthen economic development tools for the Governor. We all need to continue to work to see that we have a pro-business, pro- growth environment in Alabama. That has been one of my top priorities and I was pleased to work with the Business Council of Alabama, The Alabama Retail Association and small business groups to create a taxpayer’s bill of rights legislation. This was important piece of pro-business growth legislation that we finally enacted. I was also pleased to see that we were able to further protect the lives of the unborn by strengthening pro-life bills in Alabama. I was pleased to support both of these measures.

As a life long hunter and fisherman you may rest assured that I will continue to protect our Second Amendment rights. I was pleased to see that we were able to stop anti-gun legislation and also promote the protection of our Second Amendment rights.

It was good to see so many individuals from our Senate District during the Session, from youth leadership groups, to organized visits by our elected officials. It always helps me to better represent your views when I hear directly from you, both in person and by e-mails, phone calls and letters. I also enjoyed traveling around throughout the District this past week and seeing so many of you in person.

I also want to congratulate the Marion County Board of Education which recently received two grants which I supported, to cover the expense of the new Career Tech Development with grants in the amount of $518,000. Superintendent of Education, Ryan Hollingsworth is to be congratulated on obtaining these important job training grants. The funds were provided for the school system from a $50 million dollar bond issue which I supported in the Alabama State Legislature last year. I believe that it is important that we offer career tech opportunities to our students so they will be able to earn good paying jobs when they graduate.

I am pleased to report to you that the program which I started 14 years ago to give free medicine to seniors in Alabama is working well. If you believe you qualify, please contact the Alabama SenioRx Program, it is run through the West Alabama Area Agency on Aging as well as the Northwest Council of Local Governments. This important program will help you get free medications that are available through drug manufacturers. Alabamians age 55 and older, as well as other persons on disability, may be eligible to enroll. If you qualify, they will manage and organize all necessary paper work for you. The way this program generally works is that most companies will send you a 90 day supply of free medication at your Doctor’s office. For more information contact your local SenioRx wellness coordinator for West Alabama Area Agency on Aging, or anyone can call to see if they qualify at 1-800-AGE-LINE (1-800-243-5463). We have now given away over 230 million dollars worth of free medicine to Alabama Seniors who qualified for this program. You will recall that we were one of the first states in the nation to do this when I passed this program several years ago. I believe our seniors have fought the wars and paid the taxes, they deserve good health care in their senior years. If you know someone that you think may qualify please have them call the 1-800 number or their local Area Agency.

The State of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency informed me this week about two very important grants for our Senate District. Colbert County will receive $30,000.00 in federal grant funding under the fiscal year 2012 State Homeland Security Grant Program. This funding will be used to purchase two UHF and two VHF repeaters for improved inter-operable communications for First Responders within Colbert County. Fayette County will receive $2,000.00 in federal grant funding under the fiscal year 2011 State Homeland Security Grant Program to purchase a camera surveillance system for Emergency Response equipment security. I am a long time supporter of Alabama’s homeland security and will continue to work towards funding for our Senate District.

I am very excited about the Canadian company, Great West Vans, agreeing to relocate all of its operations to Winfield in Marion County. This Canadian based company has been in business for almost 40 years and has a strong financial reputation. Great West Vans will bring approximately 40 new jobs to the area with its relocation. Mayor Randy Price and the Winfield City Council have worked diligently to finalize this deal and with their efforts our Senate District will benefit from this new coming economic development. I want to also thank David Thornell and the leadership at C3 for helping to lead the change as well. We are doing well attracting new jobs to our Senate District but we must continue to work hard for more good paying jobs.

It was certainly a pleasure to be in Red Bay and Russellville recently to present Franklin County TVA in-leu of tax service grants. These grants are applicable to all Franklin County and it is a pleasure for me, working with Johnny Mac Morrow, to have presented over $851,000.00 worth of grants in Franklin County alone. We recently awarded $500 to the Franklin County Community Education Program for a county wide Drug Story Day for all 6 grade classes to be held at Red Bay High School as well as $500 for 8th Grade Teen Day at Northwest Shoals Community College. $500 to the American Legion Post 64 for the summer baseball team, $1000 to Red Bay High School Summer TRACKS Program, $2000 to Phil Campbell Jr. High Cheerleaders, $7,740 to the Russellville Fire Department for the purchase of 3 computers, $1500 to the Franklin County Extension Office for Regional and State Competitions, $5,000 to Red Bay High School for the purchase of new band uniforms, $3,000 to Tharptown High School for sound system upgrades, $3120 to Red Bay High School and Elementary School for the purchases of awards ceremony trophies, $1300 to the Town of Vina for Vina Youth League Baseball, $2734 to the City of Russellville Foster Grand Parent Program, $500 to the American Legion Post 64 for Boys and Girls State expenses, $2350 to Little Treasures Pre-K Inc for state approved Gold Teaching Strategies software, $1200 to Russellville Elementary for the purchase of iPads for Pre K Classes, $1225 to Vina High School for a field trip to Red Mountain Park in Birmingham, $2500 to Russellville Middle School for the purchases of Tablets for the History Classes, $1200 to Red Bay High School for emergency notification system and bells system purchase and $750 to the Phil Campbell High School Dance Line for uniform purchases.

Let me also wish a Happy Mothers Day to all of our fine Mom’s and Grandmothers who have done so much to help raise all of us. I hope all of us will give them a hug and\or a prayer of thanks.

Thank you all for contacting me and please continue to do so at the following address(s)

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

May 7, 2014 at 11:44 AM

2014/02/21 – Capitol Report – Senator Roger Bedford – February 21st, 2014

leave a comment »

Capitol Report February 21st, 2014

It was certainly a pleasure to be able to announce this week that the City of Fayette has received a very well deserved grant in the amount of $250,000 from the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs. I was glad to support this grant as it will help create and keep new jobs in Fayette. We must all continue to work together as a team to keep the jobs that we currently have and do what is necessary to attract new, good paying jobs to our area.

While on the subject of grants, it was certainly a pleasure to be in Red Bay and Russellville on Friday to present Franklin County TVA in-lieu of tax service grants. These grants are applicable to all Franklin County and it is a pleasure for me, working with Johnny Mac Morrow, to have presented over $750,000 worth of grants in Franklin County alone. We recently awarded Red Bay High School Baseball program $600, Red Bay High School Softball $1000, Vina High School Softball $500, Red Bay High School Weight Room project $2000, Pleasant Site Fire Protection Authority $512.50, Phil Campbell Elementary $500 for a teacher workshop on Behavioral Disorders, Belgreen High School $500, East Franklin Jr. High $500, Red Bay High School $500, Tharptown High School $1000, Vina High School $500, Belgreen High School Softball program $1000 and Russellville West Elementary $2400 for the purchase of iPads to be used in classrooms.

I am also happy to announce the following Grants awarded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The City of Fayette has been awarded $250,000 to be used to renovate a vacant apparel manufacturing facility to be used as a business incubator. This project will benefit 50 people of whom 51% are of low and moderate income. The City of Fayette has committed a $50,000 match to the project. $59,293 has been awarded to the Community action Agency of Northwest Alabama, Inc to provide Department of Energy funds to local Community Action Agencies to weatherize the homes of low-income and elderly residents of the State of Alabama. The counties served by this grant are Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin.
The Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc were awarded $127,718 to provide Department of Energy funds to local Community Action Agencies to weatherize the homes of low-income and elderly residents in Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties. The City of Sheffield has been awarded $100,000 to construct River Heritage Trail extension from existing river walk to CCC historic bridge in Whipporwill Hollow. This trail will be multi-use for bicyclists and pedestrians, and will be ADA accessible.
The Winston County Commission was awarded $9,168 to provide tactical equipment for deputies during high risk search warrants and to protect against situations in the county jail.

I recently had a wonderful time at the Annual Hackleburg Civitan Pancake breakfast and I look forward to attending the Frog Pond VFD Pancake Breakfast in Franklin County as well as the Winfield High School’s fundraiser Pancake Breakfast on February 22nd.

I’m pleased to report to you that my bill to make it illegal for animal right groups and others to intentionally and willfully use drones to disrupt legal hunting and fishing in Alabama has passed the Alabama Senate and is now in the House of Representatives. This is a growing trend among animal rights activist in the Mid-West and Northern states that I do not want to see occur here in Alabama. This bill will hopefully stop that type of annoying and intentional harassment. It will not interfere with the business use of drones to legitimately show real estate, inspect power lines or other legal uses. As a life long hunter and fishermen I do not want to see this type of disruptive behavior come into Alabama.

Maudie and I certainly lost a good friend, Mr. Bruce Adam Wilson of the Shoals went to heaven this past week. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean conflict and was a life long Democrat. Our best wishes and prayers go out to his family.

I hope the last blast of winter came through this past month and I’m looking forward to a warm and bright spring and I hope you are too.

Please continue to contact me with your cards, letters, calls and e-mails. I consider it an honor to work for you.

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

Copyright: 2006 – 2014 http://www.49countynews.net – All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer

Written by 49 County News.Net

February 22, 2014 at 12:28 AM

07/22/2013 – Sen. Roger Bedford – Capitol Report for July 22nd, 2013

leave a comment »

It’s certainly good to see the construction beginning on our two schools destroyed by the tornados of 2011, those being Hackleburg and Phil Campbell. I had the opportunity to visit Hackleburg and Phil Campbell this week to check on the status of the re-building. All of us wish that it could be done quicker and faster but we all know construction takes time and we want it to be done correctly. I look forward to the day that we can be cutting the ribbons on these two important new schools for our Senate District.

It was also good to get to drive on the new four lane side of Hwy 24, also known as Corridor V, coming out of Red Bay this week. You may rest assured that I will continue to work hard to see that this road construction continues. It is a little frustrating at times, especially between Hackleburg and Hamilton, to be held up for the re-surfacing but we all know that we need this progress to improve our roads.

I will also continue to work hard to see that our tax dollars are returned to our Senate District to continue these road improvements. All of our counties and cities are moving forward with the ATRIP and RAMP Programs which we passed in the Alabama Legislature. This will allow a multi year build out which will provide not only safer roads but encourage people to travel to our area.

When it comes to traveling, if you haven’t been to Hodges yet to see their new equestrian trail, I encourage you to go. At their first ride they had over 200 riders from many different counties and states. This is an example of how eco tourism can help our area. It is my hope that we will be able to go forward with the RV camp, which is another way to gain eco tourism in Marion County. God has blessed Northwest Alabama with many beautiful areas and scenic trails. This is a way that we can have additional tax revenue by not raising taxes. When we attract people into our area as eco tourist, they spend money at our restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations among other places which generates new tax dollars. It is very similar to attracting a new industry into our area, and when it comes to new industries it is good to see the continued growth in the Shoals with the recent announcement of Shoals Lighting and their plans for a $36 million dollar expansion.

Many of us are continuing to put the pressure on Governor Bentley including Dr. David Bronner the head of the retirement systems of the State of Alabama, to accept the Medicaid roll out. This Medicaid roll out paid 100% by the Federal Government for the first 3 years and then gradually backing down over the next 3 years to where the Federal Government will pay 90% and the State 10% would create 10,000 new jobs in Alabama. It would also cover 350,000 Alabamians, many who are currently working and paying taxes but do not have health insurance offered by their employer and\or can not afford it in the private work place. This would be 350,000 more consumers that our local hospitals, doctors, dentist, and pharmacists would have calling and paying for their services. In Marion County we know that 2 out of every 3 babies born last year were delivered by the Medicaid program. In fact state wide, 50% of the babies born in Alabama were paid for with Medicaid dollars. In fact, Medicaid is one of the biggest economic engines in Alabama. 78% of the nursing home beds in Alabama are paid for by Medicaid dollars. 38% children in Alabama currently get their primary health care through Medicaid dollars. As you know a healthy child is better able to learn. With Medicaid acting as the medical provider payer for children, they can go to the doctor and get preventive health care rather than showing up in the emergency room needing acute care, which is much more expensive.

We lost a great statesmen in Fuller Kimble recently. Fuller went to heaven at the fine old age of 103, he was a former state senator for the Fayette County area. He helped bring jobs and roads when big Jim Folsom was beginning the farm to market road. He leaves behind a great legacy of service to the State of Alabama. Our love and prayers go out to Fuller’s fine family.

This past week I saw the first rail car assembled in our Senate District at Barton River Front Industrial Park. The yellow, 57 foot long, flat rail car on display for the public to see at our meeting was the first that FreightCar America assembled at the Barton River Front Industrial Park. As many of you know we had hoped that the rail car plant would have been up to full capacity by now but due to the economy they have not until present been producing rail cars. FreightCar and NaviStar Corporation celebrated FreightCar starting production at the Barton plant. For those of you that have been following this story you know that company officials announced in February that they were subleasing about 25% of the NaviStar Corporation plant with plans to build up 7,000 rail cars annually. This would mean new jobs in our area, and good paying jobs. FreightCar officials have said they plan to have 200 workers on the site by the end of the year and 400 by the end of 2014. One of the company’s officials said that the plant will have 400 to 500 employees when reaching full production but the time line depends on market conditions. I am proud to say that about 70 FreightCar workers are already employed at the plant , NaviStar officials said their company has about 180 workers now. You may rest assured that I will continue to fight for jobs in our Senate District and to maintain the industries which we have here.

Another milestone to mark the rebuilding of Franklin and Marion County the brand new Mountain View Baptist Church, will soon have their first services in their new building. You will recall that the Mountain View Baptist Church was basically destroyed by the tornado of April 27th, 2011. Congratulations goes out to Pastor Sammy Taylor, the Deacons and the membership of Mountain View Baptist Church for having the faith and will power to build back even bigger, better and stronger. Our prayers and heartfelt best wishes go out to them.

Congratulations also go out to Glenda Colagross, Vice President of Instructions at Northwest Shoals Community College. She has been named the interim President of Southern Union State Community College in South Alabama effective August 1st. She has done a fine job at NWSCC having served in her first full time position in 1992. We wish her well and I know that she will be a welcomed edition to Southern Union State Community College.

It is always a fun time in the summer when the W.C Handy Music Festival kicks off as it has done this week. There are literally dozen of different events that you can attend, many of which are free and open to the public. This also coincides with the 12th Annual Blue Grass Festival.

I am proud to announce ADECA funding for several projects in our Senate District. Shelton State Community College and the West Alabama Traffic Safety have been awarded $56,637.00 to provide overtime funds with the law enforcement agencies in West Alabama for their traffic enforcement programs, better known as STEP. This program consist of high visibility enforcement efforts such as checkpoints, saturation and line patrols to increase the intensity of traffic enforcement activities and uphold the state’s DUI, seat belt and speeding laws. This area has also been awarded $16,660.00 to provide overtime funds to their law enforcement agencies for ” Click It Or Ticket” campaign enforcement.

Bevill State Community College has received $50,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission funds which will be used to fund a permanent facility at Bevill State Community College Fayette Campus for electrical systems training. This new facility and new equipment will help to better train students, adults and eventually offer training to high school students in the surrounding area. Appalachian Regional Commission funds in the amount of $50,000, State funds in the amount of $94,000 combined with a local match of $35,6000 will provide total project funds in the amount of $180,000.

It was good to have Gov. Bentley in Red Bay this past week. It enabled him to have an opportunity to tour Alegro Motor Homes, one of the leading industries in our Senate District and State while also meeting with local officials. It was the Governors first visit to Red Bay and I was proud to be there to help welcome him. Governor Bentley also had an opportunity to look at several highway projects that are underway and we are also trying to get his help to speed up the completion of these projects. I think it is very important to complete the projects that are underway, I am also working to get the new ATRIP and RAMPS funded road projects going throughout our Senate District. This will help create jobs and help stimulate our economy.

It is hard to believe that the summer will soon be over and school will soon be starting. I have spoken with several teachers over the past two weeks that are already gearing up and looking forward to projects that need to be done for their class rooms and the school.

I want to thank all of you that have been keeping in touch with me by phone, e-mail, U.S mail, and in person. I want to hear from you about your thoughts and concerns on the issues facing us locally and at the State level. This helps me do a better job for you.

Please continue to contact me with your cards, letters, calls and e-mails. I consider it an honor to work for you.

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


Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State Senator District 6
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

July 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

05/24/2013 – Sen. Roger Bedford Capitol Report for May 24th, 2013

leave a comment »

Capitol Report for May 24th, 2013

I am pleased to let you know that 49 County News, as part of their efforts to keep the community safe, have made a Google map of all the community storm shelters that are located in Marion County Alabama and Franklin County Alabama. I want to commend them for doing this as I think it will help keep people better informed about the exact location of the storm shelters. The 49 County News has made this information available for your iPhone through a free app from the app store. The app uses your location and gives you the ability to identify the closest community storm shelter to your present location. You should always have your safe place planned out in advance.

In order to take advantage of this map 49 County News has made you must download the free My Maps Editor App from the Apple App Store then follow the 49 County News link to download the KML File for the Google Map of Marion County as well as the KML file for Franklin County.

Unfortunately the GOP Republican Super Majority continued to pass a second verison of the Alabama Accountability Act which is also known as the School Voucher Plan. For the first time ever in our state, public dollars will follow children to private schools and our tax dollars will pay for private for profit schools. The deduction was raised from 50% to 100% for companies that want to donate to private school foundations to assist with public students going to private schools. It had been my hope that if the bill could not be repelled and go back to the Flexibility Bill , that we would at least prevent public dollars from going to private schools thus further weakening our public school systems. The new bill gives some school flexibility in complying with state education laws but also creates a tax credit known as vouchers for parents who choose to send their children to private schools and non-failing public schools but unfortunately private schools are not rated so we do not know if they are failing or not failing.

We also passed a bill to allow schools to hire armed security guards who have police training. I think that we must do all that we can to make our schools safer and a better learning environment for our children.

I offered an amendment to increase the raise to 5% for teachers K-12 and for those in our community college system and for retirees. We could have paid for this without taking any money out of the classroom. Unfortunately the Republican’s killed it, and the 5% pay raise that we proposed for teachers and personnel, both active and retired was changed into a 2% pay raise, good for only K-12 teachers. This is after the Republicans cut teachers pay by 2.5% three years ago, when they made them absorb more of the cost of their benefits which has historically been paid for by the state.

I am pleased to report to you that we approved borrowing 30 million through a bond issue to repair 6 schools damaged by the tornados 2011 and 2012 which included money to help finish the rebuilding and remodeling of Phil Campbell.

As many of you know we lost our state park in Gulf Shores, to a hurricane years ago. At the Governors urging the legislature agreed to use money from the BP oil spill settlement to build a convention center and conference center at the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores. This will be run by a private, for profit, group hopefully selected through a bid process to obtain the best value at the least amount of cost to the public.

Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments to me is that the GOP Super Majority refused to expand Medicaid like I had requested. This would have included coverage for 350,000 Alabamians. These are working poor who are paying taxes, but can not afford health insurance or it’s simply not available at their job. This is particularly important in rural areas because this would have been 350,000 new customers for rural hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and dentist who are currently not customers because they can not afford the health care. This would have created approximately 10,000 new jobs in Alabama. It would have been paid for 100% by theFederal Government for the first three years beginning in 2014.

After that, the State would begin to shoulder some of the cost starting at 5% in 2017 and capping at 10% in 2020. The Federal Government would then continue to pay 90% of the cost with the State of Alabama only having to pay 10%. In other words, Alabama would reap a 9 to 1 Federal match. This would provide health care to cover an additional 7 % of our population who unfortunately will not get health coverage.

The Henry Kiser Family Foundation estimated the expansion would bring $10 billion in new federal health care money to Alabama from 2014 to 2019. The State’s cost to get these dollars would be approximately $582 million. That is like investing 500 dollars and getting back 10,000.

This is a tremendous economic opportunity for Alabama as well as a great way to improve the quality of life in this state that so far the Republicans have prevented us from accomplishing. I hope they will change their mind.

Governor Bentley being a doctor should surely see the need for better health care coverage in Alabama, particularly when it would it cost no new tax dollars to the Alabama tax payers.

I am pleased to report to you that I was successful in passing a bill to protect Alabama gun owner’s rights. As a life long hunter and fisherman I am a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment. Many years ago I became a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association because I think we should protect our 2nd amendment rights. I certainly believe that we must emphasize fire arm safety and the proper use of firearms. Early in the session the Business Council of Alabama had tried to kill our gun owners bill, but fortunately common sense carried and we passed it in a bipartizan manner.

Overall it was a tough session this year and I would give it a B- if I had to rate it. Had it not been for some major bills like the Breast Cancer Awareness Bill, the bill to protect our gun rights, along with a few others, it would have received a failing grade because of the lack of debate and transparency over this legislation which lead to the 8 page school Flexibility Bill being changed into a 28 page school voucher bill without any debate or amendments. I believe that when we have accountability in the Alabama Senate through debate and review of the bills and the issues along with the ability to listen to the constituents which we represent , we will have an accountable government that passes good bills and not these that are rushed through and then when the harm is found in them it is called unintended consequences.

I had the honor and privilege of being the commencement speaker at Vina High School graduation this week. I am very proud of all of this years graduates and their many accomplishments. I wish them all the very best in their future endeavors.

Please continue to contact me with your cards, letters, calls and e-mails. I consider it an honor to work for you.

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

 


Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State Senator District 6
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

May 24, 2013 at 9:34 PM

03/14/2013 – Senator Roger Bedford – Capitol Report for March 14, 2013

leave a comment »

Senator Roger Bedford’s Capitol Report for March 14th, 2013:

You would think that if we were going to fundamentally change education in Alabama that you would want the tax payers, local school boards, parents and elected officials to have a discussion about it. You would at least want the legislature to have an opportunity to debate education reform and have meaningful input from the school boards and superintendents of education throughout the state. In fact, it would only make common sense to expose an issue as important as school vouchers, charter schools, and removing tenure from teachers to a lot of sunshine, accountability, and transparency so that the people who pay the taxes in this state to fund the schools would know what was going on.

However, the Alabama Republican Supermajority wanted no one to know what was about to happen to our schools except the few sitting in the smoke-filled room that hatched the plot. It was a classic bait and switch that resulted in terrible legislation. During the course of debate on a bill to allow flexibility to local school boards a consensus was reached. It was a bill that 105 House members and 35 Senators worked on, along with countless others concerned about education such as teachers, school board members and superintendents of education across the state. Dr. Bice at the State Board of Education was involved in the 8 page bill which was sent to a conference committee. This 8 page bill, which had been debated, viewed, read and agreed upon emerged from a conference committee as a completely different animal. The 8 page bill grew to a 28 page bill crafted in secret by two Republicans Senators and two Republican House Members with no input from educators. The bill rammed through by the Republican Super Majority without any debate. In fact, no one had even seen the bill until after the Republican’s voted to allow no amendments and no debate on the bill. After 20 minutes of chaos, the bill was rammed through. The chaos was caused by Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey’s incorrect ruling on the Senate Rules and Procedural Motions. At first, she had all the Democrats mad at her. Then, she hit the gavel and ruled that we were adjourned and all the Republicans went crazy. Everyone in the Senate was on their feet trying to get recognized, about 2 dozen house members had come up to watch the circus. With Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey unable to get control of the Senate or to issue a correct ruling from the chair, the chaos continued for 20 minutes. At that time, the procedural vote, which had been taken by the Republicans to not allow debate or amendments kicked in and the bill, was passed. This Bill includes vouchers, tax crediting private charter schools and the possibility of removal of tenured teachers in Alabama.

It was such a bad Bill that the Legislative Fiscal Office, which has the responsibility of determining how much a change in the law would cost, could not even figure the hundreds of millions dollars it will cost the tax payers.

The 8 page “Flex Bill”, which everyone had debated and read, became a 28 page voucher bill containing very fundamental changes in the way public education is run in this state. It means that a student can move from one school district deemed to be failing with a school voucher or tax credit to another school. Just one of the problems with the Bill is that the new school does not have to accept the child if they don’t want to. One can only imagine what type of recruiting opportunities this will be for high schools when it comes to high school sports from football to baseball and all sports in between for both men and women. In other words, a child wanting to leave a school deemed failing, because of its low academic standing, might not get to leave that “failing school” because the new school could decide to take the quarterback but refuse the student with a straight A average.

I am also very concerned about too are the Special Education students. Many schools will not take the special education children when they want to transfer because of the additional cost of dealing with a child with special needs, however, the school will not tell them that is why they are not being allowed in because that would be against the Federal Law.

This is the type of legislation that should have been debated, read, talked about in school board meetings, as well as, town hall meetings. In short, the Republicans decided rather than to fix public education they would try to tear it apart and allow public dollars to pay for private, for profit, corporate schools. Yes that’s right, under this bill a child could enroll in a private school and your tax dollars would pay for it.
As I am writing to you, this bill is currently before the Alabama Supreme Court. The Alabama Education Association went to court to try to stop this Bill because it broke the Open Meetings Law, as well as, other procedural laws. The Circuit Judge, Judge Price in Montgomery, issued a temporary restraining order, ordering the House Clerk not to transmit the bill to the Governor for signature until a hearing could be held on it. The Republicans have appealed the order to the solidly Republican Supreme Court to try to get the Court to over turn the ruling and to back this injustice to our public education system in Alabama. I believe we should support our schools and fix the ones that are having problems rather than putting school vouchers in place like the Republicans have done.

I appreciate all of you that have contacted me thanking me for my opposition to this bad legislation.

We are continuing to urge Governor Bentley to do the right thing and accept the Medicaid Expansion. The Medicaid Expansion will be funded 100% by the Federal Government for the first 3 years. It will cover what is commonly called the working poor in Alabama. These are people who are working and paying taxes but they can not afford health insurance or it is not available to them at work.

This would be a huge economic engine for Alabama. Over the course of seven years, Alabama would invest $771 million in the program, and in return, the Federal Government would send us $20 billion dollars to pay for it. It’s estimated that this expansion would help create ten thousand jobs all across Alabama because of the increased need for health services. These 350,000 Alabamians that would be covered by Medicaid expansion could not get preventive care rather than showing up at an Emergency Room needing acute care which is vastly more expensive. By getting preventive care, children can go to school healthy and the mom and\or dad can go to work rather than having to stay home with a sick child. Governor Bentley is a doctor; he knows how important it is to have preventive health care. I hope that he will do what so many other Republican Governors are doing across the country and accept the roll out of Medicaid expansion to help working families in this state receive health care benefits.

You may rest assured that I will continue to push for this important program which will not only improve the quality of life in our state for 350,000 Alabamians but also create new jobs and additional tax monies through economic growth.

I am pleased to announce that the following grants were awarded in our Senate District this past week. $635 to Red Bay Elementary School’s Camera System, $500 to Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts, $500 to Red Bay High School Beta Club Class Trip, $1500 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals Red Bay Buddies Program, $700 Red Bay High School Softball team, $500 Vina girls track team, $1500 Red Bay Football Program, $1500 Phil Campbell Tip Off Club, $1500 Russellville High School Tennis Program, $500 Tharptown High School Baseball program, $500 Tharptown High School Softball program, $500 Vina High School Varsity Cheerleaders, $1500 Russellville High School National Honor Society class trip, $1,000 Tharptown High School student council and drama club class trip, $800 Belgreen High School Annual Staff, $1,000 Belgreen High School Special Education Program, $1500 East Franklin Jr. High School Baseball Program, $1500 East Franklin Jr. High School Softball Program, $1500 Shoals Symphony at UNA, $1500 East Lawrence High School Baseball, $1500 Russellville High School Baseball, $100 Vina High School PTO and $1000 to Russellville High School Singers.

Please continue to contact me at the following address.

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House Russellville Office
11 S. Union Street, Suite 738 P.O. Box 370
Montgomery, Alabama 36130 Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 334-242-7862, Fax 334-242-9202 Phone – 256-332-6966 Fax 256-332-6967

Email: senbedford@aol.com Website: http://www.RogerBedford.com


Amanda Hovater
Assistant
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State Senator District 6
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

March 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM

01/18/2013 – January 18th, 2013 – Capitol Report – Senator Roger Bedford

leave a comment »

Report for January 18th, 2013

         One of the best programs for paving roads and streets in the counties and cities is the new ATRIP program also formally known as the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation Improvement Program.  ATRIP will allow each county to invest up to 10 million dollars including a local 20% match in much needed bridge maintenance.  The funds will be shared between all cities towns and unincorporated areas in each county as a percentage based on the 2010 census.  Many of our towns and cities have already agreed to move forward on the ATRIP program and I think it will help create jobs and make our roads safer for our citizens to travel on.  I am pleased to be supporting this program as I think it will make a great improvement in the overall quality of life here in our local area and throughout Alabama.  

 

            As the year came to a conclusion Governor Bentley was kind enough to help us with many important needs from the tornado and storm damage that still remains.  I was pleased to support and fight for these grants as I think they are very much needed and will help our area.  As you may know the Franklin County Commission will receive $125,000 the City of Hackleburg will receive $4,788,921.  The Marion County Commission will also receive $300,000 along with Moulton receiving $375,000.  The City of Phil Campbell will receive $2,450,000.  This will enable our communities to build back in a better and safer environment.  As I said after the storms tore through our Senate District in April of 2011, it would e a marathon and not a sprint to get rebuilt and back on track.  However, these grants will help our local officials and communities to accomplish those goals as well as create new jobs in our area through the construction and rebuilding. 

 

            As you know each one of the TVA counties receives TVA in lieu of tax monies.  These funds originally were distributed throughout the State of Alabama.  However some years ago the Legislators  of the TVA counties came together both the Democrats and the Republicans and captured that money which was going state wide to be brought back home and to be distributed through grants within each county.  In our Senate District that includes Lawrence, Franklin and Colbert counties.  I’m pleased to report to you that Representative Johnny Mack Morrow and I have been able to return $478,869.77 through the year ending 2012, helping all our schools and communities throughout Franklin County.  You may rest assured that I will continue to fight to see that our tax dollars come back home to help us in a positive way. 

 

 

We received some really good news for the Town of Littleville this past week.  They were approved for a $200,000 ADECA Grant which will be matched with $63,000 of the city’s money to assist with the construction of an access road, drainage, and site work to facilitate the location of the Big Star grocery store that is coming to Littleville.   This business will be the first modern supermarket to ever be in Littleville.   Mayor Copeland and the City Council have been working tirelessly to locate that industry here and I was proud to support the grant.  It will create approximately 21 new jobs and increase the tax base for the town.  As you can imagine when they were the first town to go wet e.i , selling beer and liquor legally, they received a great portion of tax returns from people that lived outside of their city and county.  With other cities in adjoining counties voting to go wet, it caused a dramatic decrease in sales revenue taxation for the City of Littleville.  I congratulate them on accomplishing this grant and I was proud to be a big supporter. 

 

            I am pleased to inform you that the Alabama Department of Youth Services has awarded diversions grant funding for the implementation of several community-based programs that will benefit the youth in our district.   This new, competitive and accountability based process, is the result of a comprehensive strategic planning effort by DYS to increase the ability of local jurisdictions to provide better services.  As you know I have been a champion in providing a more effective and less costly diversion services to at risk youth.  We are showing the DYS financial support provided to our juvenile detention centers where they can be more effective in providing services.  This not only helps DYS fulfill its goals and objectives but also provides vital resources here at home to help our youth rather than send them off to detention centers throughout the state.  I am proud to announce to you that H.O.P.E Center will receive $100,000, Colbert-Lauderdale Attention Home, Inc will receive $121,000, Mitnick Wilderness Program will receive $320,000 and the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Facility will receive $183,718.  You may rest assure that I will continue to fight to bring our tax dollars here at home.   

 

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: www.RogerBedford.com

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

leave a comment »

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

05/25/2012 – From The Office of Senator Roger Bedford – Special Edition Capitol Report – Reapportionment Update

leave a comment »

From the office of Roger Bedford -Special Capitol Report – Regarding Reapportionment

As you know every ten years the Alabama Legislature must reapportion itself based on the new census data. As your Senator I have served under 3 reapportionment legislative sessions dealing with the reapportionment of Alabama House and Senate districts. I’m sad to report to you that I have never seen such a racially prejudice divided and politically motivated reapportionment than the one rammed through by the GOP Super Majority in the Alabama Senate and Alabama House. When legislative reapportionment is done it is important to recognize community of interest as well as county lines and also the racial make-up of a Senate and House district.

This new Super Majority GOP coalition in the Senate and House broke all those rules, and in my opinion, broke the law. First, they adopted the Senate rules two years ago and appointed all the members to the reapportionment committee. The rules set fourth how committee hearings were to be conducted and when reapportionment bills were to be introduced. It in fact required a reapportionment bill to be filed ten days in advance of consideration by the Alabama Legislature. It also required hearings for the public. Some of you may recall that when one Republican Senator and one Republican House member came to Fayette, they had no maps, no district lines and no outlines of what the Senate district might be to show to the public so they simply listened to comments. All of those comments from citizens and local elected officials were in part about the fact that Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties have become communities of interest both with economic development ties, sports ties, family ties and with churchs. In fact the C3 is formed around those three counties for economic development efforts.

The Republican Super Majority reapportionment committee was required to file a plan ten days in advance, they missed the deadline and filed it only five days in advance. When they missed their own dead line which they set and controlled, this mistake then caused the State to incur over a half of a million dollars in tax payers expenditure for a special legislative reapportionment session. You will recall that at the beginning of the year the Republican’s boasted about the fact that they would save money by having a special session within the time frame of a regular session which would have been perfectly legal. However, they failed to do what they promised and as such we had to have a special session of the Alabama Legislature.

Despite the fact that there was numerous testimony and documents filed by myself and others showing the community interest of Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties as well as that of the Shoals in the Northern part of our district the Republican’s disregarded all of that. They rammed through a plan which totally set aside the boundaries that have existed since 1982 as it relates to Fayette, Marion and Lamar County. This new Republican Super Majority put Lamar County in with a Senator out of Tuscaloosa. The new GOP Super Majority put Fayette County in with a Senator out of Jasper. They then put the Eastern half of Marion County in with a Senator from Cullman. I was totally opposed to this effort to destroy the unity and community of interest as well as the county lines of these three counties. I was also opposed to taking Haleyville out of our senate district and changing the other boundaries. It made no sense to do this. In fact it will hurt our area because our smaller rural counties, I’m afraid, will be of little interest to Senators so far away.

On the final night of the Legislative session the Republican Super Majority broke the law of the Alabama Constitution of 1901 when it ignored a Senators right to have a bill read at length. The Constitution of Alabama requires all Legislation to be read for a third time, that is for final passage, at length. The only way you can get around this law is to have unanimous consent of the Senate and\or the House of Representatives. With six Democratic Senators objecting, the Republicans ignored the law and said no one was onjection and gaveled through the reapportionment plan at 4 a.m Thursday morning. It was blatant political gerrymandering and violation of the rules by a heavy GOP hand. It was a low point in the Alabama Senate.

When I left the Capitol at 5:30 a..m Thursday morning I went to the hotel, took a shower, packed my bags and headed back to work towards Fayette County. It was a bitter sweet occasion as we were announcing the ribbon cutting on a brand new industrial spec building at the Fayette industrial park. It has been my pleasure to work with Senator Shelby, Probate Judge Oswalt and Fayette County Commission along with the Mayor and City Council and former Representative William Thigpen and now Representative Dan Boman to see that the important dream of an industrial park containing a spec building ready for occupancy and new jobs was a reality. It was also heart warming to see and hear from so many local officials and citizens upset and outraged about the fact that Fayette, Marion and Lamar Counties were being torn apart by the Republicans. The building however, will be a beacon for new jobs for our area. For the past twenty years we have all been working together to get ready for Corridor X becoming I-22, now I’m sad to say that in the year in which it will open these counties will be torn apart and these three counties will be represented by four different State Senators.

House State Representative lines were also altered radically. The Republicans simply said it was their goal to further take over the State for Republicans and to attack Democratic Senators. Their goal should have been to keep community of interest in tact, break as few county lines as possible when drawing new districts and get a Legislature that is willing to create jobs and wants to move Alabama forward not further divide it by political party.

After leaving Fayette I drove to Vernon to hand out several grant checks with Representative Boman to some very worthy recipients. After that I traveled up to Sulligent, Hamilton, Hackleburg and then Russellville. Along the way people were calling, texting, Facebooking as well as sending me letters and cards in the mail expressing their outrage at what the Republican Party is doing to our senate district. I’m sad to report to you that they also did it to every Democratic district in the state. They over packed the traditional African American legislative districts by taking the percentage of African Americans demographics up from 50% to 75% or more in some cases thus over packing the districts. They also diminished the influence of minority voters by reducing five State Senate districts which had a white Senator serving by reducing the African American population from 30% to less than 5 %. When someone has approximately 30% of their district of a particular mind set ,race or have a view about an issue an elected official better be responsive and understanding to that view if they want to continue to serve and represent all the people. When you reduce that percentage down to 5% or less, the significance of that vote is also reduced and that is wrong, plus, I believe against the law.

So let me say this to the great voters who have been kind enough to let me work for them in this Senate District, I will continue to work hard for you. I know the good people of this District and the important projects that we are working on including highways, water, better schools, and the creation of new jobs. I will continue to work with you at the local, county , state and federal levels to see that these important goals are accomplished. It is my belief that the reapportionment plan will not stand the muster of the U.S. Justice Department nor the Federal Courts. However, should these lines be altered, I will continue to represent you even if the courts and\or this Republican Super Majority are successful in their efforts to rip apart these counties. You may rest assured that I will continue to work with you to help build our dream of a better Alabama whether you are physically in my senate district or not.

Hope all of you remember our brave Veterans over this Memorial holiday and have a fun but safe weekend.

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
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:  www.RogerBedford.com

Amanda Hovater
Assistant
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

02/24/2012 – Capitol Report – Senator Roger Bedford

leave a comment »

Capitol Report from Roger Bedford, 2-24-2012

As more details of Republican Governor Bentley’s proposed budget becomes available more opposition mounts. As you know we’ve had education dollars ear marked for education to help all the public schools in Alabama. Governor Bentley proposed to divert money ear marked for education to help pay for the General Fund. That money will come from dollars normally going to the class rooms and be spent instead on feeding State prisoners.

He also propose shifting 185 million in Medicaid cost to be paid for with education dollars instead of General Fund dollars. He proposes transferring 45 million in tax revenue from education to the General Fund to help other State agencies. However, none of this is creating jobs, in fact it’s causing continued lose of positions. Last year the Republican’s legislative agenda cost the jobs of approximately 2,200 teachers and State employees. This year the Republican Governor’s proposed 5.4 billion education budget would cut 1,381 teachers and administrative positions in public schools. It also cuts spending for community colleges and universities. We are starting to see these cuts affect important State services such as the Alabama State Forestry Commission. This is a State wide effort to prevent and control forest fires as well as promote forestry. State Forester Linda Casey says she has 92 person fire crews spread across 67 counties. Ideally, she would have 175 fire crews, which would support our local volunteer fire departments. In the area where the tornados hit us in April 2011, there are literally tens of thousands of fallen trees on the ground. With this much tonnage of fiber on the ground the threat of wild fires has increased greatly. We must do all that we can to support our volunteer fire departments.

,I’m pleased to report that the Alabama unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in December, down from 8.7 percent in November. While some of those jobs are obviously seasonal with the Christmas shopping demanding that stores hire more sales help, but we are moving in the right direction. The national average was 8.5 percent in December. I am hopeful that this trend will continue and we’ll see more jobs coming into Alabama, especially with the estimated 2,000 workers that will be going to work at NaviStar. In fact, in the last three months in Alabama we’ve seen an overall drop in our unemployment rate of 1.7 percent. I continue to encourage everyone to shop locally so that our tax dollars can turn over more in our local communities.

I will once again this year attempt to crack down on the illegal use of crystal meth in Alabama. The key to this is passing a law to put pseudoephedrian products behind the counter as a controlled substance. Mississippi has done this and it has worked as it has Oregon. You can not make crystal meth without pseudoephedrain.

To many people are addicted to this dangerous drug and it is causing millions of dollars of damage throughout all 67 counties. Oregon and Mississippi have seen dramatic drops in the use of crystal meths manufacturing and crimes since they passed this type of law. While I have pre-filed the bill I have written the other 34 Senators telling them that I will reintroduce the bill during the next session so hopefully all 35 Senators can co-sponsor and pass this bill. While I realize the passage will be opposed by drug companies in the Alabama Retail Association as it was last year when they successfully killed it , I’m hopeful that we will be able to pass this important law this year, cracking down on crime and making our neighbors safer.

I am pleased to announce that the City of Russellville has been awarded a Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $14,660.00. This grant was awarded to purchase a Live Scan Fingerprint System for the Russellville Police Department. This system electorally captures fingerprints and replaces the former ink method. The Live Scan system can be used as a mobile device as well. It will be beneficial in assisting the Police Department with a nationwide fingerprint data base that they can use for research in identifying individuals throughout the United States.

J. Walter Wood, Jr. , Executive Director for The State of Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) recently informed me that the DYS has awarded diversion grant funding for the implementation of several community-based programs that will benefit youth in our Senate District. This new, competitive and accountability based process, is the result of a comprehensive strategic planning effort by DYS to increase the ability of local jurisdictions to provide more effective and less costly diversions services to at risk youth in Alabama. DYS has also provided great financial support to our local juvenile detention center. This monetary support not only helps DYS fulfill it’s goals and objectives, but also provides vital resources for our area. The H.O.P.E Center received $125,900. Colbert-Lauderdale Attention Home, Inc. received $125,000. The Mitnick Wilderness Program was awarded $350,000 and the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Facility was awarded $277,736. These grants are very beneficial to these programs and will provide much needed funding. You may rest assured I will continue to support and promote effective programming such as these in our Senate District.

I am happy to report to you several of the grants that have been presented recently throughout our Senate District. $1000 to Fayette County Fast Pitch Softball team, $900 to the Franklin County 4-H Program, $600 to the Franklin County Schools speech and language program, $1000 to the Franklin County Pre-School Special Education Program, $1000 to Russellville High School Band, $1000 For Lamar County High School Baseball Program, $1000 to the Jill Butler Lares Memorial Education Scholarship through Athens State University, $1000 to Haleyville boys basketball, $1000 to the BayTree Council for Performing Arts in Red Bay, $500 for Phil Campbell Elementary School annual staff, $1000 to Phil Campbell High School basketball program, $1000 to East Franklin Jr. High School’s softball team, $1000 for Russellville Boys Basketball program, $1000 to Franklin County Archives for the restoration of the Sidney A. Jones cabin, $1000 to Russellville High School Golf Team, $2000 for the Franklin County SPAN Program, $2500 to Belgreen High School’s Music Department, $1500 for Reins of Life Youth Ranch, $1000 for Russellville Fire Department, $1000 for Russellville Tennis Team, $700 for Tharptown National Honor Society, $1000 to Fayette County High School Golf Team, $250 to Red Bay Jr. High Basketball Team, $1000 to Vina Youth League Basketball, $1147.80 to Vina Girls Basketball Program, $1000 to the Town of Vina’s Economic Development Program, and $1000 for Red Bay High School’s Newspapers in Education Program.

I would like to take a moment and express my heartfelt gratitude for all the thoughts and prayers for my family for the loss of my Mother, Jane Ray Bonds Bedford. We were blessed to have her for 78 years. She was a beautiful, fine lady and will be greatly missed. Your kindness and sympathies were greatly appreciated.

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

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

February 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

01/27/2012 – Sen. Roger H. Bedford, Jr. – Capitol Report

leave a comment »

Sen. Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Capitol Report for 1-27-2012

Senator Roger Bedford

I’m glad to report to you that the Alabama Department of Transportation will open bids for two important highway projects in Marion County on January 27th. The first project in Marion County will be a slide correction on State Road 4 , Corridor X, from mile post 15.9 to west of State Road 171 to Mile Post 26 at State Road 44.

The second Alabama Department of Transportation project is the resurfacing of State Road 4 , U.S. 78, from the East end of the bridge at State Road 44 to the West end of the bridge at State Road 129. These two projects, slide correction and resurfacing, will greatly aid in the transportation of goods and services to market as well as provide safer roads.

This past week I had a great opportunity to meet with many teachers and support personnel from throughout the Senate District. I enjoyed being with Representative Mike Millican at the meeting at Dolly’s Restaurant in Hamilton and at Taylor’s Restaurant with Representative Johnny Mack Morrow. It is clear from our direct discussions and talks with our class room teachers, support personnel and superintendents that we can not continue to cut educational funding in Alabama any further. We must do all we can to protect the resources that are dedicated to the education budget here in Alabama because we are investing in the future of our State. By educating our school children we are not only creating a world class work force but we also insure a brighter future for Alabama. One of the reasons we’ve been so successful in locating the auto industry, the giant steel mills of Tyson Crump, to the Alabama railcar plant which will now be leased by Navistar, is because of the quality of the work force that we have.

By combining the academic skills of our K – 12 program with workforce development we can specialize the skill sets necessary for not only current jobs, but jobs of the future. Our four year institutions are doing a good job preparing students for a broad field of employment as well.

We must not forget that 78% of all new jobs are created by existing industries that expand. So you may rest assured that I will continue to fight to see that we have a strong level of educational funding in Alabama and that we do not divert money away from educating our students to pay for health care for state inmates and prisoners. This is simply a bad idea.

This past week I also enjoyed meeting with the accountants, CPA’s, of Certified Financial Planners of Northwest Alabama. They gave us a comprehensive overview of their view of the economy and what we can do in the Legislature to help improve it.

When the new Super Majority Republican party took over they said they were going to change the way they did the budget process. So, for the first time in modern history the new GOP majority decided there will be no budget hearings before the beginning of the Legislative Session. What that means is, that the department heads and cabinet members as well as other concerned citizens and legislatures, will not have an opportunity to come before the Education Budget Committee or the General Fund Budget Committee to discuss an agency’s needs. When the new administration is looking at continuing proration ,as well as further cuts to much needed programs, it concerns me greatly. Rumor is that Governor Bentley and the new leadership is planning on cutting over 100 million dollars more out of Medicaid. This is an idea that would hurt seniors and children throughout Alabama. During tough times we should make sure that our priorities are correct and I believe fulfilling the health care needs of Alabama seniors as well as our children should be priorities. The Alabama Medicaid budget , as you know, is matched with Federal dollars on almost a two and a half to one basis. Therefore , for every hundred million of State dollars that is cut, about two hundred and fifty million of Federal dollars is lost. Medicaid is an important part of the economy , our Senate District and throughout the State of Alabama ,as this is where fees and services for doctors, pharmacies, hospitals as well as nursing home care comes from. 78% of all nursing home beds are paid for through Medicaid dollars, and approximately 40% of the children in Alabama get their health care through Medicaid dollars. One in two live births in Alabama is paid for with Medicaid dollars. Our rural hospitals can not continue to receive cuts in funding and expect to be able to deliver the top quality of care which we want for our neighbors and family members during times of illness.

So, I urge all of you to keep a sharp eye out for the budget acts that must be coming in this new budget. For the first time ever they will not be able to be aired out publically for the beginning of the Legislative session. As budget chairman ,for years I upheld these hearings so that we might have accountability and transparency in the budgets. When the tax payers have an opportunity to study the facts and figures as well as the proposed increases and decreases they too can help us make informed decisions on what Alabama spending priorities should be.

As you know, upgrading the quality and caliber of law enforcement has been a long time goal of mine. We are fortunate to have many fine law enforcement officials and first responders in our Senate District and throughout Alabama. We saw how important this was last April, and it will continue to be in the future. As such ,I’m proud to inform you that we have been able to secure an Alabama Department of Homeland Security grant to Fayette County in the amount of $20,876.52. This will enable Fayette County to further upgrade its interoperable and emergency communications systems. These projects will range from reprogramming of existing equipment, meeting FCC Narrowbanding rules, and purchasing new communications equipment to further help serve our communities.

On February 2nd Hospice of the Shoals will celebrate its 20th Anniversary by participating in Alabama Gives Day from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. The Hospice organizations throughout our State and Senate District do such a good job in providing compassionate, loving care to people who have terminal illness so they can live whatever time they have left with comfort, dignity and the highest quality of life.

I hope 2012 is proving to be a prosperous and healthy new year for everyone and as always if I can be of service to you please do not hesitate to call me.

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:  www.RogerBedford.com

12/22/2011 – Capitol Report – Roger H. Bedford, Jr., December 22, 2011 8:51

leave a comment »

Capitol Report – Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
December 22, 2011 8:51
Capitol report for December 22nd

I certainly hope this capitol report finds you enjoying a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends and that 2012 will be one of the most prosperous and happy years for you. We ended the year with an opportunity to give out several grants in the City of Red Bay. It was my pleasure to present a $1000 grant to the Town of Hodges for their Equestrian Trail. This will be a wonderful tourist attraction as well as something we can use here at home on a daily basis with friends and family. I commend Mayor Ed Crouch and the Hodges City Council for going forward on this important project.

It was also a pleasure for me to award $400 to the Red Bay Kindergarten classes to help with projects that they needed. I was able to present $1000 to the Red Bay Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program as well as $1000 to the Red Bay Lions Club Christmas Clothing and Food Project. I want to thank the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program as well as the Lions Club and other civic organizations that have reached out and helped so many unfortunate Alabamians during this Holiday season. We should always remember the real reason for the season is the birth of or Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It was a pleasure to recently travel to Gadsden for a seven county Democratic dinner to honor Dr. Paul Hubbert. Dr. Paul Hubbert is retiring after decades of service to the State of Alabama , teachers and support personnel. He is originally from our Senate District in Hubbertville and his wonderful wife Ann is from Walker County. I hope that you will keep Dr. Hubbert and his family in your prayers over the holiday season as he is having to take dialysis three days a week now. The meeting was held at the Civic Center in Gadsden where he said in his remarks that he held his first big teachers meeting in 1969. So it was appropriate that what he deemed as his last speech was made there in the same building. It was a great turn out of local elected officials. I want to commend Representative Craig Ford on putting together such a wonderful fine event.

It was certainly a treat to have the whooping cranes fly through Franklin County again this year. The Russellville Airport played temporary home to people and cranes making their way from Wisconsin to Florida. This is an operation ensuring the continuation of the rare whooping crane species, this is headed up by a non-profit organization Operation Migration that was started in 1994.

I enjoyed visiting with some of the teachers and students at the Belgreen High School cafeteria recently. They have a great group of support personnel and teachers in Belgreen. The lunch room was very clean and the students very friendly.

I also had the pleasure of visiting with Mayor Doug Gunnin and Commissioner Don Barnwell in Hackleburg last week. We are working on getting some new industry into Hackleburg. We must work everyday to keep the jobs we have here and to bring in new jobs with better paying benefits for our workforce.

 Words can not express how much we appreciate the not for profit organization Kaboom and the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Program helping the Phil Campbell Elementary School receive a brand new play ground. This play ground, as you know, was destroyed in the tornadoes of April 27th that took the lives of 26 people in Franklin County including my good friend and second grade teacher Patricia Gentry, fourth grader Ethan Knox and third grader Edgar Mojica. Therefore it’s appropriate that the new playground dedication which took place Saturday, December 17th, be known as the Gentry-Knox-Mojica Playground. I think this is a wonderful and positive sign of the rebuilding in our Senate District and the progress we are making after the terrible tornadoes that ripped through our five counties.

I had a great time celebrating Christmas with all the good people of Marion County and Guin at the Christmas gathering at the National Guard Armory. It was a wonderful time to shop and fellowship as well as see so many friends from around the area. I bought two homemade Christmas ornaments for our Christmas tree. I also had the privilege of seeing Coach Funk again and congratulating the Marion County Red Raiders on their State Championship. The band was outstanding and it really set a positive tone for the Holiday Season.

I hope you will also use this opportunity as we’ve talked about before to shop at home so that your tax dollars will turn over in the local community, helping our schools and businesses.

We received good news in Hackleburg recently when it was announced that there will be 20 new public housing units built-in Hackleburg to replace a portion of those lost in the April tornadoes. The Marion County Housing Authority officials approved an agreement with a company submitting the lowest of eleven bids in the process. Congratulations goes out to H and N Construction, based in Florence, on the low bid to build the new units at the cost of 1.66 million dollars. We can use the jobs during the construction stage and can certainly appreciate the new housing units for it’s tenets. I’m pleased to see our Senate District and our State as a whole rebuilding so well after the destruction it suffered. We all know that this is a marathon and not a sprint but everyday we continue to get stronger and better.

From my family to yours I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

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:  www.RogerBedford.com

Amanda Hovater
Assistant
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

(Copyright ©2006-2011 www.49CountyNews.net. All Rights Reserved.  Any reprint or copy of this article must include the aforementioned Copyright in its entirety.)

11/18/2011 – Capitol Report – Sen. Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

leave a comment »

11-18-2011
Capitol Report
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

It’s always a pleasure for me to see so much highway work going along full speed as the good Lord has blessed us with great fall weather. I have enjoyed watching the leaves change and the coolness of the air. I still can’t get adjusted to the time changes and how it’s now dark before you get off work. However I am pleased to informed you that the Alabama Department of Transportation opened bids for a new highway project in our Legislative District on November 4th. This is a much needed project and one which I support fully. It is the resurfacing in Marion County of State Road 4 from State Road 171 ( US – 43 ) to County Road 45. This will make this road much safer and it’s greatly needed. You must rest assured that I will continue to fight to ensure we get every highway dollar and grant returned to our Senate District that we possibly can. We pay the taxes in we need to get the services back.

I want to encourage everyone to remember not only the soldiers in the 115th signal battalion which has been redeployed to Afghanistan but also the families that are left here at home. I appreciate the fine service of our brave men and women in the armed services of America. We are blessed with many patriots that serve both in the National Guard and the full time active military. I appreciate their sacrifices that enable us to live free here in America. However we must always remember that freedom is not free and men and women everyday have their life on the line in battle fields and hot zones all across this world. So when you see a veteran or an active service member tell them thank you and also remember them and their fine families in your prayers.

It’s certainly a pleasure to recently be re-elected to the Alabama Law Institute Executive Committee. As many of you know the Alabama Law institute is non partisan state agency that helps the legislature draft and model improvements in our laws. We are fortunate to have had the service of the Honorable Robert L. McCurley for the past 35 years who will be retiring this year. He and his find staff have done a great job on helping improve the quality of the laws that we consider and enact in the state of Alabama. I want to thank him for his many years of service. It’s important to understand that literally hundreds of thousands of dollars of time are donated by lawyers from all walks of life , big firms, small firms, plaintiffs, defense and business that donate their time to help us work through improvements in the laws.

I am very pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs (ADECA) has granted funding for a couple of additional entities.

The Marion County Commission, which is chaired by Commissioner Mike Davis, received a $23,000.00 Violence Against Women Formula Grant. This grant will provide funding for a Family Violence Prevention Program in Marion County.

I’m also pleased to announce a $15,000.00 grant to Mr. John Mize of SAN, Inc, D\B\A Turning Point. This grant for Turning Point will proved services to victims of domestic violence and their children, sexual assault services to adult victims of rape and sexual assault and adult survivors of child sexual assault. Additional services are a 24 hour crisis line, an emergency confidential shelter, case management, court advocacy, child advocacy, information and referrals to other community agencies. Turning Point provides services to a six county area in West Alabama for domestic violence and a nine county area for sexual assault services. The counties served include: Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa.

I’m hopeful that these grants will help prevent rape and sexual violence, as well as provide good counseling for the victims and their family members. As always, thank you to the Mayors, Commissioners, and local officials, as well as the Governor, ADECA Director Jim Byard, and the members of the Legislature for your hard work in obtaining these funds that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of north Alabama.

This Thursday I had the honor of presenting several Northwest Alabama Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) grants to help start and continue projects in our area.   Cherokee High School received a $4,000 grant from the Northwest Alabama RC&D and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to help start an outdoor classroom. They started by building a pavilion adjacent to the main campus to be used as an outdoor teaching area. This grant helped them take their first step in clearing a spot, purchasing the needed materials, and constructing the steel-framed structure in a small wooded area adjacent to campus. A special thanks to Dennis Deaton, a retired Agri-Science teacher, who took the lead on this wonderful project.

The Colbert County Commission received $5,000 to help make Colbert Alloys Park a place where families can come park their RVs and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds the Tennessee River. The grant was used to partly fund the purchase of a manufactured home for the park’s caretaker, which will also function as an office for the park once it is open.

The Covenant Christian School received a $4,000 grant from the Northwest Alabama RC&D and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to continue making strides in creating a fantastic outdoor classroom on their campus. This grant was used to purchase landscaping materials, plants, educational signs, benches, bird feeders, and an outdoor marker board to be used as teaching tools during outdoor lessons.

The Oka Kapassa Native American Festival, which is held annually at Spring Park in Tuscumbia, received a $10,000 grant. This partly funded the costs associated with the Native Americans’ performances throughout the festival, as well as their lodging while in Tuscumbia. This festival is widely considered to be one of the best in the Southeast, and boasts some of the most celebrated Native American artists, storytellers, and dancers in the country as its patrons. It is such an honor to host such an outstanding event.

In addition, several Lauderdale County libraries benefitted from a $17,825 grant to promote early literacy. The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library received the grant to fund early literacy training of local librarians at Florence, Killen, Lexington, and Rogersville libraries. The grant also helped these libraries to host parent workshops, conduct reading programs, and purchase books, CDs, and additional training materials used to teach early literacy to preschool aged children in Lauderdale County. I would like to give a special thanks to Roger Hayes, the Chairman, and the rest of the hard-working staff of the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council, for all of their hard work in helping better Northwest Alabama.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun opening of deer season this past weekend , I hope you enjoy it by spending time with friends and family. Be safe.

As always if I can ever be of any assistance to you please contact me at the following

Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 730
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone 334-242-7862
Fax 334-424-4736
Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 256-332-6966
Fax 256-332-6967
Email: senbedford@aol.com
Website: www.senatorrogerbedford.com

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Amanda Hovater Assistant

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

AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

November 18, 2011 at 5:22 PM

11/04/2011 – Capitol Report – Roger H. Bedford, Jr. November 4, 2011

leave a comment »

Capitol Report – Roger H. Bedford, Jr. November 4, 2011

I’m glad to see several new assisted living centers coming to Winfield, Hamilton, Fayette, and other areas of our Senate District. As our population ages, it’s important that we have a good health care delivery system for them. It’s also important to remember that these projects, many of which are multi-million dollar projects, will hire between 20 and 50 employees. As such, it’s just like locating a small industry in the Senate District. I think it will benefit our counties, and we must make sure that we have a good quality of care for our Senior Citizens. You can count on me to continue to work to see that we do have this.

Congratulations go out to a fine attorney who has now become a judge, the Honorable Mark Hammitte. He has been an attorney for Bear Creek, Hackleburg, the Marion County Commission, as well as the Marion County Board of Education, and many individuals in the past. The District Judges handles all the cases not in civil and criminal court, which include misdemeanors, traffic cases, small claims, child custody, juvenile incidents, domestic disputes, and child support. Judge James Cashion did a good job with his service and I thank him for it. We wish all the best to our new Marion County District Court Judge, Mark Hammitte.

As you know some 12 years ago I helped create the first State wide program for free medicine for Seniors that did not have prescription drug coverage. It has been a huge success. At the end of the fiscal year I wanted to give you a report on the Alabama SenioRx Program, which is operated through the thirteen local Area Agencies on Aging, and I’m pleased to say that it continues to save Alabamians millions of dollars. I appreciate the Honorable Irene B. Collins, Commissioner and my good friend in the Department of Senior Services with the State of Alabama, for her help administering this great program. Since the program’s inception July 2002 through September 2011 some 47,062 SenioRx clients have been served. These clients received a total of 653,375 free prescriptions Statewide, which represents an overall savings of $230,247,271. These are medicines that Alabama Seniors would not have been able to afford without this important program, which we helped create. If you know of anyone who is over the age of 55 with chronic medical conditions, have no prescription drug insurance coverage, and have an income below 200% of the federal poverty level, please have them call 1-800-age-line (1-800-243-5463). Social Security disabled individuals of ANY age in the 24 month Medicare waiting period are eligible for medication assistance. This is just another example of how the Government, while working with the private sector, can meet the needs of Alabamians, and we can continue to build a better Alabama.
I am very pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs (ADECA) has granted funding for several additional entities.

Four Community Services Block Grants have been granted to provide services to low-income individuals and families to assist in removing obstacles and solving problems that impede the achievement of self-sufficiency.

The Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama, Inc., which is chaired by Mr. Earnest Darby, has been granted $58,312.00. This grant serves Colbert, Franklin, and Lauderdale counties.

 

The Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Inc., which is chaired by Mr. Jim Turner, was awarded $64,705.00. This grant serves Cullman, Lawrence, and Morgan counties.

The Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., which is chaired by Commissioner Bobby Miller, was granted $121,325. This grant serves Bibb, Choctaw, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties.

The Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Committee, Inc., which is chaired by Judge Judy Miller, was awarded $20,139.00. This grant serves Marion and Winston counties.

Two Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants were awarded.

The Colbert County Commission, which is chaired by Commissioner Troy Woods, was granted $95,000.00 for the continuation of a Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force.

The Pickens County Commission, chaired by Commissioner Ted Ezelle, was awarded $123,300.00 to continue a multi-jurisdictional drug/violent crime task force for the 24th Judicial Circuit. The Task Force will coordinate drug and violent crime investigations in Fayette, Lamar, and Pickens Counties, Alabama.

One project was awarded $100,000.00 for Energy Efficient Retrofits to the City of Muscle Shoals, which is governed by Mayor David Bradford. This will provide funds to purchase and install energy-efficient improvements at the Muscle Shoals Senior Citizens Center.

Thanks to the Mayors, Commissioners, and local officials, as well as the Governor, ADECA Director Jim Byard, and members of the Legislature, we were able to obtain these funds that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of north Alabama. I am proud of the hard work and dedication of all our local and state officials in securing these grants.

As always, if I can ever be of any assistance to you, please contact me at the following:

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: www.senatorrogerbedford.com

Amanda Hovater
Assistant
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
AHovater.RBA@gmail.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

November 4, 2011 at 6:20 PM

09/23/2011 Senator Roger Bedford, Capitol Report, September 23rd, 2011

leave a comment »

Senator Roger Bedford, Capitol Report, September 23rd, 2011

Congratulations goes to Phillips Elementary School Principle David Pruitt and his staff that has secured a $125,000 21st Century Grant. This is program as you may know is provided by Federal funds by a grant program known officially as The 21st Century Community Learning Center’s Grant. This is a multi year grant that will provide $125,000 annually through the next three years starting when the physical year starts on October 1st. As you may know Marion County has previously secured two other 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants with Winfield receiving a school grant for $150,000 annually while the Guin Elementary grant was for $125,000 annually. This is an example of how persistence with these programs dollars can be obtained from the Federal Government that can make a difference in our local school systems. I believe these programs will help benefit our fine school children and prepare them for the jobs of the 21st century. We also continue to see some encouraging signs of the economy beginning to turn around here locally and state wide. Recently the Marion County Board of Education reported that sales tax revenue was up by $55,000 in FY211. I hope that we can continue new jobs in our area as well as allowing under employed people to obtained better paying jobs so that additional tax revenues will be generated by people earning more money and having the ability to buy locally thus generating sales and income tax for our schools.

This past week John Cooper the Director of the Alabama Department of Transportation for Governor Bentley toured our Senate District. We attempted to show him as many highway projects and improvements that are greatly needed as we could. As always the Director pointed out that they had no money to help but we all know that they do have money and can spend it where it is most needed. So we tried to explain to him how much our highway needs were and the facts that it would lead to more economic development and growth , creating jobs as well as make our roads safer for school buses and regular citizens. So I want to encourage each of you to come out on Tuesday , October 4th, from 5 p.m to 7 p.m at the Hackleburg Town Hall located at 314 1st Avenue ,Hackleburg Alabama to comment favorable on the need for a new bridge between Hamilton and Hackleburg. This will be a public evolvement meeting for project designated as BR – 0017 ( 516 ) which is a bureaucratic name for the relocation and replacement of the bridge on State Road 17 ( US – 43 ) in the vicinity of North Fork Creek. This bridge has needed replacing for some time now and it’s important for each of us to show our support for a new bridge and making this road safer.
I recently had the privilege of attending the 2011 Chairman’s dinner of the Business Council of Alabama in Birmingham. George W. Bush former two term President was the guest speaker. I appreciated Fred McCallum for inviting me to join his lovely wife and him at their table.

While you could argue that George W. Bush was using this occasion , as I’m sure he is around the country not only to raise money through speaking fees, but to tell his verison of the history of his Presidency I found it most interesting and enjoyable. The best part of the evening was when a former class mate of mine from the University of Alabama the honorable Will Brooke who is currently serving as President of the Business Council of Alabama do a question and answer session with the former President. He talked not only about the hardships of 9-11 but also the personal experiences of his father having been President and then himself. He also talked about the transition from public life in the White House to a semi-private life as a former President. It was a rare insight into the mind and thoughts of a gentlemen who had served our country both as Governor of Texas and two terms as the President of the United States.

It was also a pleasure to speak with Fred McCallum about Dave Hargrove work with the Mayor and City Council of Red Bay to extend 3G cell phone coverage into Red Bay. I’m proud to say that we now have full 3G coverage there and I hope we will soon have it throughout the entire Senate District. AT&T is currently in the process of erecting over 100 new 3G towers throughout Alabama.

This past Thursday night my Assistant Amanda Hovater, our great friend Kathryn Robinson, Owner of Cherry Tree Lane Bridal and Formal Boutique and myself had the honor of Judging the Sulligent Old Fashion Day Beauty Pageant. This was their Second Annual pageant and they had a remarkable turnout. The delicious meal and beautiful outdoor harvest setting made for a perfect evening. It was obvious a lot of hard work and time had been put into making the event one Sulligent can be very proud of. The girls were all lovely and did a wonderful job in the pageant. Congratulations to all the contestants and the winners and a big thank you to all of those who made the event a great success.

With football season in full force I hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather while cheering for your favorite team.

As always if I can ever be of any assistance to you please contact me at the following

Alabama State House

11 S. Union Street, Suite 730

Montgomery, Alabama 36130

Phone 334-242-7862 , Fax 334-424-4736

Russellville Office

P.O. Box 370

Russellville, Alabama 35653

Phone 256-332-6966 Fax 256-332-6967

Email: senbedford@aol.com

Website: http://www.senatorrogerbedford.com

Written by 49 County News.Net

October 3, 2011 at 12:19 PM

%d bloggers like this: