Legislators are prohibited

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2001

from delivering checks


Staff Writer

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Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is putting his foot down when it comes to legislators taking possession of grant checks from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Recently, the governor notified new ADECA director Norm Davis of the policy that will put an end to legislators picking up and delivering grant checks issued through that department. Instead, checks will have to be delivered directly from the governor’s office or ADECA.

State Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, said the governor’s recent announcement is nothing new.

"As long as I can remember, the governor has required legislators to bring delegations to Montgomery so he could give them the check," Mitchell said.

"This is absolutely nothing new. This doesn’t signify any change that I see."

Mitchell said it’s "the few senators that use the system for personal interest" that make it hard for the others.

Siegelman’s order came after State Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, has held only an uncashed ADECA check to the Marion County Commission for six months. The commission refused to use the money to buy land from a friend of Bedford and the check was returned.

State Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy, does not have a problem with the new rule.

"It doesn’t bother me the governor wants to sent them the checks as long as we get the money," Boothe said.

"As long as it goes to the people it’s supposed to go to, I don’t mind."

Boothe said he only remembers one time when he delivered an ADECA grant check to the Pike County Commission that was, in turn, to distribute the funds among the volunteer fire departments.

Mitchell said the so-called change will not have any impact on how he works in Montgomery to secure funds for his constituents.