By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, State Senator Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, announced that he has filed qualifying papers to seek a fourth term in the Senate District 3 seat that he has held since 2006.
“Since my first day serving in Montgomery, I have focused my efforts on improving education, economic development, and efficiency in state government, and we have made great strides in each of these areas in recent years,” Orr said. “At the same time, I have worked to ensure that the citizens of Morgan, Madison, and Limestone counties have received their share of state investment dollars in our schools, our roads, and other critical needs. I hope to continue serving the Tennessee Valley over the next for years.”
Orr is currently serving as the chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee and is tasked with annually allocating roughly $6.5 billion in state funding to Alabama’s K-12 public schools, community colleges and public colleges and universities. He previously chaired the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, which divides roughly $1.8 billion in spending among non-education state agencies.
Orr said that he passed and enacted several significant pieces of legislation throughout the current quadrennium, which include: A measure that increases enforcement of state campaign finance laws by providing more oversight authority to the Alabama Ethics Commission; A bill requiring high school students to pass a mandatory civics exam covering U.S. history, government and good citizenship as a prerequisite for graduation; and Multiple cost-cutting reforms that have already begun to save Alabama taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars of unnecessary state spending.
Orr chairs the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, which oversees efforts to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the state’s founding, and he previously led a government panel whose work dramatically reduced the high school dropout rate among teens.
Orr is employed as an executive vice president with Cook’s Pest Control, Inc.
Sen. Arthur Orr was born in 1964 in Decatur. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University, and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. He was a partner in one of the oldest and largest North Alabama law firms. Orr is married to the former Amy Wallace Bethshares of Decatur. They are members of First Bible Church in Decatur and have one son and a daughter.
Orr served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal. Sen. Orr also served as a new country developer – Bangladesh – and staff attorney for Habitat for Humanity International in the Asia/Pacific area for years. He has been active in the Decatur-Morgan County area serving in leadership capacities for numerous boards and organizations. He also helped start the Community Free Clinic for the working poor and serves on its board.
Orr is very involved in his community and has served as chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee, Joint Legislative Water Resources Committee, Select Commission on High School Dropouts and Alabama Bicentennial Commission, on the boards of the Children’s Trust Fund, Southern Growth Policies Board, State Water Commission, among others. He is also the past president of the Wake Forest Alumni Association. He has received numerous awards from education, business, agriculture and state agency associations. He is an alumnus of Leadership Alabama and a Henry Toll Fellow. Orr has lived in or visited over 60 countries.
Orr does not have a qualified Republican primary opponent. No Democrat has yet qualified in Senate District 3, either.
Major party qualifying ends on Friday, Feb. 9.
The major party primaries are on June 5, 2018.