On Saturday my family and I worked the 7th annual Vets with Vettes and Corvette Owners Charity Car Show at the Bridge Street Towne Center in Huntsville. The event ran from 8 – 2 and saw over 200 registered participants (incredible cars, trucks and bikes) and raised several thousand dollars that will be donated to local charities such as Semper Fi Community Task Force, Tutt-Fann Veteran’s Home and Toys for Tots. Thanks to everyone that participated, to the press for the pre and post coverage and special thanks to the hardworking club members who coordinated this year’s show. Even with the cool weather, the bar has been set high for next year.
Monday afternoon I attended a Madison County Judicial update with several Madison County legislators. I enjoyed meeting the County Clerk, judges and staff. Afterwards I was able to spend an hour with the Madison County District Attorney discussing several legislative items. That evening my wife and I attended the Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner at the VBC. It was great seeing so many of our community leaders recognized for their athletic accomplishments.
Funny story, I misread the evening dress code on the invitation and showed up in a tuxedo. Once we arrived at the VBC I realized everyone else was wearing business suites or sport coats and quickly realized that I was seriously overdressed. However, my schedule didn’t allow time to return home and change - so, in we went, tux and all! At the door I was immediately asked if I was an inductee…that’s the funny part. Trust me; I played sports in high school but there is nothing I’ve ever done athletically that would warrant me being inducted to any athletic hall of fame. Throughout the evening, everyone was very nice about the mix-up and commented how nice I was dressed in the tuxedo. I replied more times than I can count, “Thank you, I have to return it by midnight”.
Today I arrived in Montgomery a little before 10 AM. Of note, the Troopers were working pretty hard south of Hoover around the construction zones. I even saw a legislator pulled over! My day started with meetings in my office at 10:30 and 11:00. The Republican Caucus met at 11:30 and the Senate went into session at 2:00. We were successful in passing six important bills today dealing with tort reform. One democrat broke from his ranks and filibustered a final bill to show his frustrations. Near as I can tell he was frustrated in the fact that he was not invited to work on the bill in committee…dang, sometimes we need to just put our big boy pants on when we come to work. He repeatedly stated during his hour long filibuster that he would support the bill when we vote on it but it was just that no one took him up on his offer to help out on the bill (sniff, sniff) and his feelings were hurt. We finally voted the bill out at 5:20 and he voted for it.
Tomorrow morning I have several meetings lined up. I’ll start with an education policy meeting at 0830. A little after 5:00 PM today I received a copy of the amended version of the Tenure Reform bill (SB310). Guess what I’ll be reading tonight along with the other bills in committee? Several pieces of information have been provided publically, for and against tenure reform, most notably by AEA (Alabama Education Association) and AASB (Alabama Association of School Boards). The best piece I’ve seen to date compares both groups’ arguments, side by side. Read it here.(admin note, this link was fixed 4/20/11). Lastly, in yesterday’s blog, I linked to the memo sent to the bill sponsor that included comments on how to improve the bill as submitted. This memo included comments from 37 people who took the time to be a part of the solution. Thank you for your assistance.
At 10:30 I have a General Fund Committee meeting and at 11:30 a public hearing will be held on a bill I’m sponsoring concerning direct access to Physical Therapist. Currently, if someone wants to visit a licensed physical therapist in Alabama they must first go to their doctor for evaluation and receive a prescription to visit the physical therapist. This bill allows patients the option to visit a physical therapist directly. You can read the bill here. I’ll discuss further in tomorrow’s blog – after the public hearing (don’t want to show my cards yet!)