By Sen. Gerald Dial
Fairhope, Ala. – State Senator Gerald Dial, R- Lineville, and Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark were recently presented the Legislative Leadership Award by the Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC) during its Annual Training Conference at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear.
The meeting is held each year to provide training and educational information sharing with County and Municipal government board members and staff on senior service programs, economic development and transportation related issues.
Sen. Dial and Rep. Clouse received the award for providing leadership and advocacy for Senior Service program funding and support of regional economic development and transportation issues.
In the 2012 Legislative Session, Senator Dial sponsored SB 321, which provides for a portion of the license tag to be diverted from the Penny Trust fund into the Senior Service meals program.
The bill would have raised approximately $500,000 to assist in providing more meals and would have made progress in providing meal services for a portion of the 10,000 seniors still on the waiting list.
Senator Dial feels that we must continue to provide for Alabama’s seniors. Alabama currently ranks 44th out of 50 states with access to nutritional programs and meals for its seniors.
“We have a growing senior population in this state and many of this current generation of seniors have selflessly helped build our country into what it is,” said Dial, “I will always work hard to make sure that seniors have what they need during this stage in life because they have deserved it.”
Rep. Clouse received the award for providing leadership and direction during one of the most difficult financial periods in Alabama history.
Rep. Clouse serves as the Appropriations Subcommittee Chair of the Ways and Means General Fund and was instrumental in continuing funding to the 12 Regional Planning Commissions (RPC) across Alabama.
Rep. Clouse feels that the AARC has provided great service and program delivery throughout the State and knows how important the employees are when services diminish with budget cuts.
“Unfortunately, you’re not thanked enough for what you do for our seniors and residents across Alabama,” said Clouse, “I want you to know how much I appreciate the service you provide for our senior citizens and local government officials.”
AARC President John Clyde Riggs presented the award to Senator Dial and Rep. Clouse and commended them for standing up for regionalism, senior issues, transportation and infrastructure.
“Senator Dial and Rep. Clouse have shown to be a great leaders in Alabama and has worked hard to give more resources to our seniors, said Riggs, “They have displayed exceptional leadership and are genuinely interested in making sure services go out to the people in this State efficiently.”
The Regional Councils have received state funding for the last twenty years, providing technical assistance to fund programs designed to make significant contributions to local communities. Some of these funds are also used as matching capital to create jobs through the Revolving Loan Fund, enhance community development, and provide senior services.
The AARC is composed of 12 regional councils. A Regional Council is a public organization that directly serves local governments through local and/or state government laws. They function through communication, planning, policymaking, coordination, advocacy and technical assistance to local governments and citizens in a region.
To learn more about AARC and its programs please visit us at www.alarc.org.