Leading By Example

Mar 18, 2013 No Comments ›› Admin

Last week was a busy one in Montgomery as we hosted county commissioners from around the district, passed the state’s General Fund budget, and watched closely as the Alabama Accountability Act worked its way through the judicial system.

Setting the state on a sound, conservative fiscal path is one of our top priorities in the Senate. Senator Arthur Orr has done a great job this year in crafting a General Fund budget that makes sure essential services are provided while streamlining and making cuts wherever possible. Of particular note is the legislative branch’s budget, which has been cut by $12.9 million since we took office in 2010. If we’re going to ask other state agencies and branches of government to live within their means, we have to lead by example.

We passed the General Fund budget Tuesday night, which is the earliest in the session we’ve passed the budget since I’ve been in the legislature.

On Wednesday I was glad to host County Commissioners from Jefferson, Shelby, Talladega and Bibb counties in Montgomery. The day started with a panel discussion featuring Lt. Gov. Ivey, Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner and several of my Senate colleagues. We discussed the legislative session and got some great feedback from the commissioners on the challenges they are facing in their counties, including the Jefferson County bankruptcy.

After the panel discussion, we had lunch together at the Capital City club where Lt. Gov. Ivey and Governor Bentley both addressed the group.

It’s extremely important to keep lines of communication open between our local elected leaders and members of the legislature in Montgomery. I appreciate the county commissioners’ efforts to do exactly that, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with each of them.

The week closed with a flurry of activity after the Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling and allowed the Accountability Act of 2013 to go to the governor for his signature. When it comes to education, I believe every parent deserves a choice, and ever child deserves a chance. I was proud to support this legislation, but I will also work to make sure our successful schools are protected and able to continue bringing up our next generation of leaders.

We also passed The Women’s Health and Safety Act (HB57) out of the Senate Health Committee, of which I’m a member. This bill says that if a woman chooses to have an abortion, direct physician involvement will be required and there will be mandatory standards for nursing care and post-operative follow-up visits. This bill will make sure women are cared for in the safest pre-and-post operative environment available. I’m looking forward to this bill passing the full Senate and going to the Governor for his signature soon.