Rep. Todd Is In the House

Following the lead of some of my favorite Alabama bloggers, who are going straight to the source for information and commentary on the legislature, I’ve asked freshman Representative Patricia Todd (D-District 54) to give us a newcomer’s perspective.  Some of you followed the District 54 election dispute here; I’m happy to say that’s all behind us now and Patricia is in Montgomery serving all of her constituents.  Here’s her first summary (thanks, Patricia!):

I have completed my second week in the legislature and introduced my first bill last week, The Alabama Minimum Wage Law.  This bill would establish a minimum wage statute in Alabama (that’s right, we are one of only 6 states without a minimum wage statute).  Right now, Alabama follows the federal minimum wage laws.

It has been over a decade since the Congress has raised the federal minimum wage, which stands at $5,15 per hour.  Take into consideration that you should allocate about 30% of your income for housing and you would have to earn $10.55 an hour to afford a 2 bedroom apartment at fair market value.  How are people supposed to live on $5,15 an hour??

Congress has considered an increase in the minimum wage to $7.15 over a two year period, but the bill is stuck in a conference committee.  Alabamians deserve better and shouldn’t have to wait for the federal government to tell us what we should be doing here!

The bill has been referred to the Commerce Committee for consideration.  Please contact members of the committee and encourage them to vote for the bill.

I have also drafted legislation to convene a Poverty Task Force, as well as an Affordable Housing Task force.  The legislature can convene a task force to study an issue and make recommendations to be considered in the next legislative session.  These two issues are of particular concern in House District 54 as well as throughout the state; as such, they deserve special attention.  These task forces are the starting points for us to take significant steps in the fight against poverty. 

In addition, I am pleased to report that I have co-sponsored the PAC-to-PAC transfer ban legislation that passed the House last week.  I hope that the Senate will consider this long-overdue bill quickly.  Rep. Paul DeMarco’s bill to require ethics training for legislators passed after a lengthly debate.  Another good piece of public policy.

The Constitutions and Elections Committee will meet this week to consider the Constitutional Convention bill being introduced by Rep. D. Newton.  I am a co-sponsor of this bill and hope that we can get this bill passed this year!

5 Responses to “Rep. Todd Is In the House”

  1. Don says:

    I sent all members of the house Constitution and Elections Committee (Representative Todd being one) an email which read as follows:

    “I may be the most vocal voter who wants to see Representative Mike Ball’s HB263 passed in both bodies of the legislature but there are thousands of individuals and members of grassroots organizations in Alabama who feel the same way.

    We want to see this bill approved by your committee at the earliest possible date and then sent to the floor for open debate.

    Some of you were on this committee in 2005 when I came to the State House and spoke before a sub-committee in favor of this bill (then known as HB276), and came again later prepared to address the full committee when it received unanimous approval, so you should have no reason to not vote for approval this year.

    For the benefit of members who were not on the committee at that time, and to refresh the memory of those who were, I have attached a copy of the text of the presentation that I prepared for my second visit.

    Also attached is the text of an article written by Representative Ball and published by The Birmingham News on December 26, 2004, that I would like all of you to read as you consider HB263.”
    I’m pleased to see that Representative Todd is living up to her pre-election word when I asked her if she would support it proposition of making Alabama the 25th Initiative and Referendum state. She promptly replied to my email saying, “I am supportive of this legislation.”

    I’m also pleased to see that Kathy has arranged for her to report on legislative activities here.

  2. Don says:

    I should add that the two attachments that were sent with my email can be viewed @ http://www.doctoriq.com/myspeech.htm and @ http://www.doctoriq.com/mikeball.htm if anyone is interested in reading them.

  3. Dan says:

    Rep. Todd was the only other legislator that I considered beyond Mike Ball. If Ball hadn’t accepted, I would have contacted her. She’ll probably fit in here more, though, as Ball probably fits in better at BTL. Everyone wins.

  4. [...] So it wasn’t the raise that bothered me so much; it was the voice vote.  Now the vote is on the record; here is the final tally — the House vote was 57-41, and the Senate vote was 20-15.  FYI, Rep. Todd voted NO. [...]

  5. [...] UPDATE:  The Alabama Democratic Party Blog has linked to Patricia’s first post here.  Thanks!  [...]

Leave a Reply