Boothe says it#039;s business as usual in house

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 16, 2003

Rep. Alan Boothe (D - 89th District) is looking forward to starting a new term in the Alabama House of Representatives. Boothe, who represents Pike and Dale counties in the legislative fray in Montgomery, said things on the House side were much quieter than the headline-making leadership challenge in the Senate.

Still, Sen. Wendell Mitchell's (D - Luverne) attempt to become the Senate President Pro Tem could have been much more explosive, Boothe said.

&uot;The fireworks from the Senate didn't erupt as anticipated. We thought there'd be a lot of things in the Senate, but that didn't really happen,&uot; he said. &uot;We reelected Seth Hammett (D - 92nd District) as Speaker of the House.&uot;

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Boothe will remain vice- chair of the committee on state government and chair of the committee on boards and commissions. But Boothe said he is especially excited about his upcoming work on the Alabama Aerospace Council and Alabama Energy Council.

&uot;We're going to do some things to help aerospace development. We're heavy into that with Lockheed-Martin and Sikorsky and, of course, Fort Rucker,&uot; he said.

Boothe downplayed talk of the proposed pay raise for legislators that made state headlines last week.

&uot;There was some talk of a pay raise but that didn't happen,&uot; he said. &uot;There's just no way this legislature would vote itself a pay raise in view of how many people are unemployed and the state of the economy.&uot;

Boothe said he had not supported the early talk of a pay raise, which he said came from Rep. John Rogers from Birmingham.

&uot;Granted there hasn't been a pay raise in a while, but the timing is not right. I'll agree though, that there are some things that need to be corrected, like the payments we receive for travel. We still get paid in railroad miles,&uot; he said.

Boothe said the success or failure of the coming term lies with Gov. Bob Riley. According to Boothe, the ball is in his court and the legislature is looking to him for viable solutions to Alabama's problems.

&uot;We're ready for Riley to step forward and give us his plans,&uot; he said.

Stephen Stetson can be reached at