Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, announced on Tuesday that he was elected vice chair of the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) at the group’s 72nd annual meeting.
“For the past several years, Alabama has been among the leading states in job creation and economic development, and we were recently ranked by one respected magazine as having the best business climate in the nation,” Ledbetter said. “Given our recent successes, I am proud to serve as vice chair of a group that focuses its efforts on economic issues and related areas like infrastructure needs. It is my hope that this position will allow us to gather best practices in economic recruitment and industrial development and learn ways Alabama can build even further upon its already impressive growth.”
As vice chair, Ledbetter will assist the committee’s chair, Mississippi Representative Manly Barton (R – Moss Point), in guiding the committee’s policy focus and projects and shaping its 2019 annual meeting programming.
Ledbetter said in his release, that at the SLC meeting, the committee’s sessions focused on the importance of site selection for promoting growth; expanding apprenticeship programs; and effective economic development strategies in Missouri. Attendees participated in a roundtable discussion on relevant updates from their 2018 state legislative sessions and were given the opportunity to take part in a technical tour of Boeing St. Louis.
SLC Chairman Ron Richard said in a statement that policy sessions featured nationally recognized experts on critical topics for the Southern region. Several of Missouri state government leaders discussed successes of the Show-Me State on aging inmate populations, mental health services for youth and economic development strategies. Further dialogue on existing and emerging state government innovations and solutions continue the tradition of excellence that has established the Annual Meeting as the best attended and most anticipated regional meeting of state legislators and staff.
The Host State Committee and coordinators arranged many events that embodied the rich history, world-class sports teams and amazing culture of the Show-Me State. The conference began with an opening event at Ballpark Village complete with appearances from former professional athletes. There was also a Family night at the Saint Louis Zoo – voted America’s top free attraction and the best zoo in the United States.
Ledbetter was elected Majority Leader after members of the House Republican Caucus voted to remove Mickey Hammon (R-Decatur) after legislators became aware of possible ethics concerns surrounding Hammon. Hammon has since pled guilty to federal fraud charges and resigned from the legislature. Hammon has served his sentence and reportedly is cooperating with federal authorities investigating Representatives Randy Davis (R-Daphne) and Jack Williams (R-Vestavia). Neither Davis nor Williams are seeking another term in the House.
The SLC recently held its 72nd Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, from July 21 to 25. The meeting brought together more than 1,300 legislators, legislative staff and guests from across the South.