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

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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

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Written by 49 County News.Net

May 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM

09/14/2012 – From the Office of Roger Bedford – Capitol Report

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Capitol Report for September 14th, 2012

It has certainly been and exciting time since the last Capitol Report. We’ve had two major industrial announcements, one in our Senate District in the Shoals with Firestone announcing that it is going to double the size of its plant with a $40 million dollar expansion and adding approximately 40 jobs.

Just a few weeks ago we had the announcement of the Walgreen’s Call Center expansion that will be taking place in Muscle Shoals. Walgreens expects to fill 150 jobs soon after the renovation and facility expansion is complete in December with the company planning to add an additional 100 jobs in each of the next two years.

It is good seeing new jobs coming into our area, but it is also important that we keep the existing jobs that we have and continue to search for new jobs.

As we’ve talked about before the days of showing a cotton field to an industrial prospect and saying “we want you to locate here” are long over. Industry in the 21st century wants existing land infrastructure and a lot of times buildings already in place that they can immediately utilize. As such, it was a pleasure to dedicate the new industrial spec building in the Vina Industrial Park in Franklin County this week. This industrial building is ideally located approximately half way between Corridor Y , Hwy 24 and Corridor X new interstate 22. It has approximately 42,000 square feet in it and I look forward to it having hundreds of workers some day in the future. As you may know it has been my long time philosophy that I had rather put people to work so when they are paying taxes there is money for our schools and government rather than raising taxes. I think it’s a bad idea to raise taxes especially on working families and small businesses.

It is good to see the highway work underway on highway 24. It has long been a dream of mine to fulfill Congressman Tom Bevill’s request to see that Highway 24 known as Corridor Y becomes a complete four lane joining Corridor X which is soon to be our new Interstate 22 in Mississippi. I can’t help but smile at all the construction work going on in Jefferson County as they prepare for Corridor X to tie into Interstate 65.

Yes, football season has finally arrived. While the temperature needs to be a little cooler I’m excited about high school football throughout our Senate District and State as well as SEC College football. It is my understanding that the University of North Alabama is also building a strong football program for the upcoming season. I hope you all come out to support your local, Junior High and High School teams as well as your favorite Colleges.

What an honor it was to introduce Alexandra Branyon in Fayette at the Fayette Civic Center recently. I had the privilege of presented a Senate Resolution honoring her for her work. We are so fortunate to have this outstanding Fayette native and fine Alabamian adding to the rich cultural activities at the Civic Center. It was also interesting to see so many former Fayette students who are now succeeding in life talk about their experiences there in the building when it was still a school. We wish Ms. Branyon all the best in the future and I know we’ll see many more successes from her good work.

It was a pleasure to recently attend the Alabama Council of Local Governments Annual fish fry in Tuscumbia. It was very well attended by the local elected officials and board members from the five counties that Keith Jones’s fine group heads up. Those five counties being, Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Marion and Winston Counties.

Many of you have contacted me about the upcoming amendment coming up on September 18th. As I’ve told many of you on the phone and in person, I agree with you that it is not the best way to fund state government by taking one time monies to pay on reoccurring expenses. It’s a shame that the Republican Super Majority does not want to put language in the amendment that would require us to pay the Oil and Gas Savings and Trust Fund account back. However, the reason you have a savings account is so that you can have a bridge over tough financial waters and I hope that you’ll vote yes to this amendment because Medicaid, mental health and other state services are depending upon its passage. The Governor and the GOP Super Majority in the Alabama Legislative have provided no leadership as to alternatives if the amendment is rejected, in other words there is no plan B if it fails.

The following grants were recently awarded in our Senate District. $1000 to the Red Bay High School Majorettes and Dance Line. $500 to the Tharptown High School Softball Program. $500 to the Tharptown High School Youth Football and Cheer league. $1000 to the Franklin County Schools ( Red Bay, Vina and Tharptown ) speech Therapy for an ipad purchase. $1000 to the Russellville High School Golden Tiger Anglers Club. $500 to the Red Bay Elementary 6th grade field trip to Daulphin Island and $1250 to the City of Red Bay Weatherford Library.

I am very pleased to announce that the Alabama Department of Economic Affairs (ADECA) has granted funding for the important grants I have fought so hard to obtain.

$51,300.00 was awarded to the West Alabama Children’s Advocacy Center. This project will continue to enable the West Alabama Children’s Advocacy Center to continue to provide child abuse services and a child friendly facility in Lamar County and to support satellite facilities in Fayette County and Pickens County. Taped interviews and counseling sessions along with court preparations will be provided to the victims in each of these facilities. We must protect our children from abuse and put in jail those who abuse them.

$7,948.00 was awarded to assist the Town of Double Springs Police Department with the purchase of 4 ballistic vests, 7 tailored armor vest carriers, 4 each 5.56 police rifles, sights, light mountings, 3-point fifle slings and tactical slings, 2 tasers, 1 taser cartridge and 4 taser batteries. This equipment will assure that the Police Department will have the necessary resources to remain in conformance and provide necessary equipment to perform their duties.

$150,000.00 was awarded to Northwest Shoals Community College to continue implementation of the Child Passenger Safety program in the 10 Community Traffic Safety Program regions located across the state. Counties served in this program are Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Winston.

$249,613.00 was also awarded to Northwest Shoals Community College for The North Alabama Highway Safety Office to continue implementation of the ADECALETS Highway Safety programs in the North Alabama region to include the 10 counties of Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lawrence, Limestone, Lauderdale, Madison, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Winston.

$133,000.00 was awarded to Shelton State Community College to be used to administer traffic safety projects and grants in West Alabama. This grant serves the following counties: Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa.

The City of Fayette, which is governed by Mayor Ray Nelson, was awarded $450,000.00. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds will provide sewer system improvements on 5th Street NE, 4th Street NE, 4th Lane NE, and 6th Avenue NE and will ultimately benefit 165 people.

The City of Hamilton was awarded $250,000.00. This CDBG will provide funds for an extensive revitalization to a six block area in the downtown commercial region. The project will consist of drainage, water, sewer, street, sidewalk, lighting, landscaping and handicapped accessibility improvements. Thanks to the hard work of Mayor Annette Sherrill and local officials we were able to obtain these funds that will improve the quality of life of everyone in Hamilton.

The Lamar County Commission, which is chaired by Judge Johnny Rogers, received a $350,000.00 CDBG to provide new water service to 42 households that are currently being served by contaminated water wells and springs in two separate sections of Lamar County.

The City of Sulligent received $350,000.00, and these CDBG funds will provide new sewer service to the residents of Buck Jackson and Wilson Roads as well as Willow and Wren Streets. The project will also replace a deteriorated and undersized pump station at Lamar Heights Apartments.

In addition to CDBG funds, ADECA awarded funding to Safeplace, Inc. for Crime Victim Assistance and Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters Grants to States and Indian Tribes. Safeplace received $45,005.00 for a project that will continue to address the dual problems of expanding domestic violence services to a growing Hispanic population in Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Franklin, Marion and Winston counties. These funds will also provide more personnel on-site in rural counties, who will provide services, such as court advocacy, to rural victims and refer both populations to their crisis line and residential facility when needed.

Safeplace also received $175,971.00 for the Safeplace P.E.A.C.E. Project, which serves six Northwest Alabama Counties, will address the problem of family violence and prevention of future abuse. Services will include school-based violence prevention/education programs, media and community awareness campaigns about services available to victims, victim outreach programs, training for community agencies and professionals, provision of crisis line, safe housing and counseling for victims, and domestic violence intervention programs for perpetrators will be expanded.

As always, thanks to the Mayors, Commissioners, and local officials, as well as the Governor, ADECA Director Jim Byard, and members of the Legislature, who helped us obtain these funds that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Northwest Alabama. You may rest assured that I will keep working hard to bring out tax dollars back home to help our area grow.

I certainly appreciate all the cards, e-mails, letters and phone calls which I have received from you. This enables me to continue to work effectively on your behalf. If you should need to reach me for any reason feel free to do so at the contact information listed below.

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.
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

September 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

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

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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

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