In a surprise move, APR can confirm that Gov. Kay Ivey earlier this morning removed freshman State Sen. Chris Elliott, R-Fairhope from the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-II (ATRIP-II) committee.
ATRIP-II is charged with deciding funding grants for state-maintained highway systems which includes local roads and bridges projects.
Ivey’s office confirmed that State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile will replace Elliott on the committee.
The Governor called Figures this morning, and letters were delivered to both Figures Elliott’s offices.
APR reached out to Ivey’s office after learning about changes on the ATRIP-II committee.
“Serving on ATRIP II is a privilege, not an entitlement,” said Ivey. “It also carries with it significant responsibilities, and as such, I have asked Senator Vivian Davis Figures, the most senior senator from the Mobile/Baldwin County Delegation, to take my appointment to this committee.”
First elected to the senate in 1997, Figures is a widely respected lawmaker both in her district and in Mobile. Figures serves on many Senate standing committees including Finance and Taxation, Education; Rules; Judiciary; Education Policy; Confirmations; and Mobile County Local Legislation.
“Senator Figures has a proven track record of seeking progress and finding ways to bring people together who are seeking common ground,” Ivey told APR. “Given that South Alabama has so many priorities reflecting the growth and activity in this region, I thought it was better to have someone who knows how to get things done and has a record of working with everyone.”
Elliott was supportive of the I-10 bridge project both as Baldwin County Commissioner and as a senator from Fairhope. Elliott abandoned the project caving to political pressure over the last month.
“I applaud the Governor for bringing more diversity to that committee,” said State Sen. Baby Singleton, D-Greensboro. “Something that should have been done from the beginning. I don’t know what her reason was for changing Chris Elliott for a senior senator, but I always thought that the esteemed senator from Mobile should have been on that committee from the beginning.”
Ivey’s office contends that Elliott’s replacement is not retribution but rather a move to ensure that the committee clearly addresses the state’s infrastructure without political bias.