Last updateFri, 18 Apr 2014 7am

Report Shows Senators Who Will Receive or Decline Pay Raise


By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

According to records obtained from the Secretary of the Senate's office, 19 senators have returned and 17 senators have not returned their letters asking if they will accept the cost of living increase to their salaries this year.

The cost of living raise will be $134 per month for twelve months or $1608 annually. The senators have until April 1 to return the letters. If the letter is not returned they will pay increase will automatically be applied.

Below are the results of the report as of Wednesday, February 29. They include the status of the senators' letters, the senator's annual salary and their monthly expenses).

Letters Returned Not Accepting Raise

Senators Gerald Allen ($47,496/$3,958), Billy Beasley ($49,296/$4,108), J.S. Beason ($49,296/$4,108), Dick Brewbaker ($27,360/$2,280), Benjamin H. Brooks, III ($27,360/$2,280), Paul Bussman ($49,296/$4,108), Vivian Davis Figures ($47,496/$3,958), Jimmy W. Holley ($40,368/$3,364), Bill Holtzclaw ($49,296/$4,108), Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey ($67,296/$5,608), President Pro Tem Del Marsh ($27,360/$2,280), Senators Arthur W. Orr ($43,428/$3,619), Bryan Taylor ($27,360/$2,280), James T. Waggoner, Jr. ($47,496/$3,958), Cam Ward ($47,496/$3,958) and Phil Williams ($40,800/$3,400).

Letter Returned for Accepting the Raise

Senators Linda F. Coleman ($50,904/$4,242), Harri Anne H. Smith ($50,904/$4,242) and Rodger M. Smitherman ($51,696/$4,308).

Letters That Have Not Been Returned

Senators Roger H. Bedford, Jr. ($50,088/$4,174), Slade Blackwell ($41,904/$3,492), Gerald Dial ($49,296/$4,108), Priscilla Dunn ($50,088/$4,174), Jerry Fielding ($49,296/$4,108), Benjamin N. Glover, III ($49,296/$4,108), Tammy Irons ($49,296/$4,108), Marc Keahey ($48,288/$4,024), Shadrack McGill ($49,296/$4,108), Trip Pittman ($51,096/$4,258), Greg Reed ($49,296/$4,108), Quinton T. Ross , Jr. ($48,288/$4,024), Henry Sanders ($50,088/$4,174), Paul Sanford ($49,296/$4,108), Clay Scofield ($49,296/$4,108), Bobby E. Singleton ($50,088/$4,174) and Tom Whatley ($49,296/$4,108).


Gingrich Will Be In Pell City on Wednesday


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter 

Former Speaker of the House and Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich is coming to Alabama on March 7th.  

"We are excited to be able to have Speaker Gingrich come to St. Clair County," said Dr. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), This is a first for our county to have presidential candidate come and speak to our citizens." 

McClendon was instrumental in bringing the Gingrich campaign to the county. 

Newt Gingrich's Alabama Presidential campaign had previously scheduled this event at the historic Ritz Theater in downtown Talladega but the campaign announced today that they are moving the event to the Pell City Civic Center to accommodate larger crowds than they had perviously anticipated. 

The longtime Georgia Congressman rose to national prominence in 1994 when the Republican Party took control of the United States House of Representatives for the first time in decades.  The new Republican majority made Gingrich Speaker of the House.  The Republican Congress then balanced the federal budget, which led to a period of unprecedented growth and economic prosperity.

The Gingrich campaign event is the day following 'Super Tuesday.'  The Alabama Republican Presidential Primary is on March 13th and delegates are awarded on a proportional basis, meaning any candidate who wins at least 20% of the Alabama vote can win delegates here.  It requires 1144 delegates to win the Republican nomination for President at the Republican convention in August.  The eventual Republican nominee will face incumbent Democratic incumbent President Barack H. Obama in the November 6th General Election.

The event is at 2:00 at the Pell City Civic Center, which is located at 2801 Stemley Bridge Road. 

Marty Connors Talks About Romney’s Alabama Campaign


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter 

Former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney won impressive victories in both Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday.  Romney’s Alabama campaign is working on building on that momentum here in Alabama.  ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ had exclusive telephone comments with former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors who is working with the Romney Presidential Campaign here in Alabama.

Marty Connors said that Tuesday’s Michigan victory was a huge win for Romney because so much of the primary process is driven by emotion.  Connors said the really impressive part of the Michigan victory is that Gov. Romney was running against both Santorum and the United Auto Workers.  Connors said that the automobile industry is a huge part of Alabama’s new economy.  Alabama is 3rd in automobile manufacturing largely because this is a right to work state.  Connors said that Mitt’s strong support of right to work laws should work well for him in Tennessee and on March 13th with Alabama voters.

We asked Chairman Connors if Mitt Romney strengthened his position so much after victories in Arizona and Michigan that the possibility of a brokered convention in August now seem distant or will this thing run on past April?  He said, “I have never thought that we would have a brokered convention.” Connors said that it is possible that the race could go to the convention because “Mitt still needs 1144 delegates.”

We asked Connors if Romney will contest Alabama, or will he yield the South to Gingrich and Santorum?  Connors said 4 weeks ago Romney had 27% support in a four way field in Alabama.  Now it is likely he can grow that margin here.  “I am thinking that a win in Ohio will help Mitt in Alabama.” “Gingrich is struggling to hold on in his home state of Georgia.  He only has a 7 point margin in Georgia.” A strong showing on Super Tuesday would help Romney’s momentum in Alabama.

 ‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ asked: Romney has won 6 of 10 contests thus far.  He has won in New England in Maine and New Hampshire, in the west in Nevada and Arizona, in the Midwest in Michigan, and down south in Florida Does that demonstrate that he has the national appeal to be the most electable candidate?” Connors said, “Well I would not count Florida as a southern state.  Florida is more of its’ own country than a state.” “Mitt needs a win in a Dixie state.” Connors said that it is not necessary for Romney to win Alabama.  Since Alabama awards its delegates proportionally if Romney wins at least 20% of the state Gov. Romney will add to his growing delegate count.  It is not necessary to win the state of Alabama to win delegates in Alabama. Connors said that if Gov. Romney wins in a state that borders Gingrich’s home state it would be “a monumental win.”

We asked if Romney will contest Alabama, or will he yield the South to Gingrich and Santorum?  Connors said 4 weeks ago Romney had 27% support in a four way field.  Now it is likely he can grow that margin here.  “I am thinking that a win  in Ohio will help Mitt in Alabama.” “Gingrich is struggling to hold on in his home state of Georgia.  He only has a 7 point margin in Georgia.” A strong showing on Super Tuesday will help Romney’s momentum in Alabama. Because Alabama has proportional awards of delegates 20% of the vote is enough to win delegates. A strong showing in Alabama and the other Dixie states strengthens Romney’s candidacy.

We asked if Gov. Romney is coming too Alabama?  Connors said that he participated in a conference call where discussions of a possible Romney visit in Alabama were discussed; but no decision has been made yet.  Ann Romney attended a fundraiser in Alabama on Friday February 24 and “We raised well over $100,000 that day.”  “Romney has raised more money in Alabama to this point than all the other presidential candidates combined.”

We asked: Has this over six months of Republican back biting and Infighting helped Barack Obama’s reelection chances?  “Temporarily yes, but it also has made the eventual nominee a better candidate.” “New revelations are more damaging than old revelations.” Connors said that voters have been forgiving of New Gingrich’s two divorces and past marital issues while Herman Cain’s campaign was upended over allegations of marital infidelity.  Connors said that this process will lead to a stronger eventual Republican nominee.

‘The Alabama Political Reporter’ asked if the Republican Party was stronger if they focused on economic issues like jobs, the debt, and energy rather than focus on some of the social issues.  Connors said, “Absolutely, Jim Demint (R-SC) recently said that the Republican Party is a big tent but the center pole of the Republican Party is economic issues like fiscal responsibility, limited government, and economic opportunity.”  There are lots of poles in the Republican tent but those poles are on the edges.  Gov. Romney has focused on those economic issues that unify Republicans.  “We think the more we discuss jobs and the economy the better off we are.”

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Smoking Ban Law Expands Areas


By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

A bill expanding the area where smoking is banned was the subject of a public hearing held by the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. The bill is be known as the "Alabama Smoke-free Air Act of 2012"

SB198 was introduced by sponsor and Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile), and is co-sponsored by Senators J.T. "Jabo" Waggoner (R-Birmingham), Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham), Jerry Fielding (D-Calhoun, Coosa, Elmore, Talladega), Linda Coleman (D-Birmingham), Tammy Irons (D-Florence), Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), Quinton Ross, Jr. (D-Montgomery), Billy Beasley (D-Clayton), Harri Anne Smith (I-Slocomb), President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston), Senators Gerald Dial (R-Lineville), Marc Keahey (D-Grove Hill), Greg Reed (R, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Winston), Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and Roger Bedford, Jr. (D-Russellville).

Existing law is the Alabama Clean Indoor Air Act that prohibits smoking in certain public places. This bill will repeal that act and establish the Alabama Smoke-free Air Act of 2012. It will prohibit smoking in places of employment and public areas including some outdoor areas. The bill also includes in its definitions "E-cigarettes."

A fine of $50 will be imposed and will not exceed $100 on the first offense. Second offense is not to exceed $200. The third and subsequent offenses are not to exceed $1,000.

Exemptions are made for private clubs and private residences not used for child or adult care or as a healthcare facility.

The bill states, "The Legislature finds and declares that the purposes of this act are to protect the health and welfare of the public by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke free air takes priority over the desire to smoke."

Areas are to include bars, businesses, playgrounds, bar area within a restaurant, public places, shopping malls, sports arenas and service lines.

It defines a public place as "used by or open to the public including, but not limited to, any of the following:a restaurant, a bar, a retail or service establishment, an educational facility, establishment, laundromat, retail food production and marketing, shopping mall, convention facility, theater or other facility primarily used for exhibiting a performance."

It also includes a bus or taxicab, and a ticket, boarding, or waiting area of a public transportation depot, a restroom, lobby, reception area, service line, hallway, elevator, or other common use area the public is invited or permitted to enter. A bingo facility or other gaming facility, a hotel or motel, including common areas and guest rooms. 

Public walkways at shopping malls or hall area that serves to connect retail, service, or professional establishments. 

It further defines a service line as one "in which one or more persons wait for or receive service, whether or not the service involves the exchange of money. A service line includes, but is not limited to, an ATM line, concert line, food vendor line, movie ticket line, and sporting event line." 

The bill will be brought back to committee next week for a vote so the senators can study the bill further before making a decision.


Midwifery Bill Will to Make Home Birth Safer


Press Release

MONTGOMERY - Today, SB314 had a public hearing at Senate Health Committee. This historic legislation would would establish a State Board of Midwifery, allowing for licensed midwives to practice in the state.

Hundreds of people came to show their support for the bill, sponsored by Senator Paul Bussman. The bill, which establishes a board, would grant licensure to midwives and give women more options in how they birth children.

"I want every woman to be able to choose where she gives birth. Passing this bill would allow women who choose home birth the ability to do that safely in our state, instead of driving to Tennessee to receive this type of care."

Home birth is allowed under current state law, but the practice of midwifery is not. Bussman said that this bill fills in that gap.

I am incredibly encouraged by the support the public has shown for this bill. I want to ensure that every home birth is as safe as possible. Licensing midwives is the most effective way to do that.

For more info and to see video of Senator Bussman's full comments regarding the bill, please visit


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