‘Successful’ session – Ward plans to re-introduce transportation commission

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Shelby County State Rep. Cam Ward said he plans to re-introduce legislation in the upcoming regular session to create a transportation commission in Alabama.

He said the current special session of the Legislature has been going well and that he expected it to be finished as of yesterday.

&uot;We are passing several reform measures to help stop the growth of the costs in state health insurance,&uot; he said.

&uot;Currently Alabama is on course to spend at least 50 percent of its budget on health insurance over the next 10 years.

&uot;We cannot continue allowing costs to spiral out of control like this or our state will be bankrupt. The reform legislation is based primarily around preventive healthcare which is estimated to save the state up to $600 million over 10 years.&uot;

He said the measures passed the house by an almost unanimous vote despite the uproar from education and state employees.

As for the upcoming regular session in February, Ward said, &uot;I plan on re-introducing legislation to create a Transportation Commission in Alabama.

&uot;Roads are one of the biggest problems in our area, and we are not getting our fair share of funding to deal with this problem.&uot;

Ward attempted to pass this legislation during this year’s regular session; however, the effort was stymied by Democratic leadership in the Legislature.

&uot;The only way to solve this funding issue is to have politics removed from the determination of where roads are built in Alabama.

Ward said there are other issues he feels should be addressed by the Legislature.

&uot;I also plan on introducing legislation that would make it a crime for a person to kill an unborn fetus. Currently there is no law in Alabama that would protect an unborn child if the mother is attacked,&uot; he said.

Other legislation he is considering involves requiring the governor and lieutenant governor to run on the same ticket; co-sponsoring a Sales Tax Holiday law in Alabama; and making it a crime to leave a child under age 9 unattended in an automobile.

&uot;Every year hundreds of children nationwide have died in cars that were left unattended by their guardian,&uot; he said.

Ward said he also plans to introduce a bill that will punish those who are reckless in their care for animals which end up injuring someone.

&uot;Under my bill, it will be a misdemeanor for an owner of a dog, where the dog goes out and injures someone. Already some 38 other states have similar laws on the books,&uot; he said