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

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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

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Written by 49 County News.Net

May 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

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

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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

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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

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Written by 49 County News.Net

February 22, 2014 at 12:28 AM

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