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Ledbetter unveils final slate of House committee chairs

Speaker-designate Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) announced Wednesday seven lawmakers he has appointed to serve as House committee chairs.

As previously reported by Yellowhammer News, Ledbetter has announced the creation of the new House Committee on Ports, Waterways, and Intermodal Transit.

“These committee chairs will handle some of the most important issues that affect the daily lives of Alabamians – health, public education, election integrity, veterans affairs, accountability to taxpayers, and local measures,” said Ledbetter in a release. “And because the ability to easily transport goods plays such a vital role in Alabama’s economic development efforts, the new House committee on ports and waterways will be especially important in keeping our state growing.”

Ledbetter, the House GOP Caucus choice for speaker, unveiled this month his picks of individuals for other committee chair assignments. Wednesday’s announcement marks the third and final slate of chair appointments.

SEE: Speaker-designate Ledbetter announces major committee chairs

ALSO SEE: Ledbetter announces more nominees for committee chairs

The planned committee chair appointments include:

State Rep. Chip Brown (R-Hollinger’s Island)
House Ports, Waterways, and Intermodal Transit Committee.

Brown, elected to the House in 2018, previously was a member of the agenda-setting Rules Committee and also served on the Economic Development and Tourism, Urban and Rural Development, Insurance, and Mobile County Legislation committees.

Employed as a commercial Realtor and entrepreneur, Brown served in the Alabama Army National Guard and was deployed with the U.S. Army at the Central Command Forward Operations Headquarters in Southwest Asia during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also twice deployed as a military advisor in Afghanistan.

Ledbetter said he created the new House committee because Alabama possesses more than 10% of our nation’s fresh water, and when combined with the expansion of the State Docks in Mobile, the Tennessee/Tombigbee Waterway, the ports of Huntsville and Birmingham, and the port being constructed in Montgomery, that transportation hub can be leveraged into one of our state’s strongest economic assets.

State Rep. Phillip Pettus (R-Killen)
House Fiscal Responsibility Committee

Pettus, who was originally appointed by Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) as chair of the House Fiscal Responsibility Committee, will maintain his chairmanship.

First elected to the Legislature in 2014, Pettus previously held seats on the Judiciary Committee, the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Prior to his service in public office, the lawmaker was an Alabama State Trooper captain. After 25 years in law enforcement, Pettus retired from the Alabama Department of Public Safety in 2013.

State Rep. Bob Fincher (R-Rocky Branch)
House Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections Committee

Fincher will return in his current capacity as chair of the House Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections Committee. He was originally appointed to fill the post under McCutcheon. Fincher previously held seats on the House Education Policy, Agriculture and Policy, and Local Legislation Committees.

The retired educator taught at Woodland High School and New Hope Christian School, and twice served as one of Alabama’s presidential electors.

State Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville)
House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

First elected to the House in 2018, Oliver previously held seats on the Agriculture and Forestry Committee, the Fiscal Responsibility Committee, and the Health Committee.

Fincher, a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, served as a military helicopter pilot and inspector general. He committed 31 years of service in active duty, Reserves and the National Guard.

The lawmaker was also a 15-year civilian helicopter air ambulance pilot.

State Rep. Alan Baker (R-Brewton)
House Local Legislation Committee

Baker will return to his chairmanship of the House Local Legislation Committee, a panel he previously under McCutcheon. He also served as vice chair of the House Education Policy and the House Rules Committee.

Elected to the Legislature in 2006, Baker worked for 27 years as an educator and football coach in Alabama public schools. While coaching at T.R. Miller High School, his teams won five state championships in football and five in track.

State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur)
House Education Policy Committee

Collins will once again serve as chair of the House Education Policy Committee. In 2019, she sponsored and ushered into law the landmark Alabama Literacy Act. The lawmaker held a seat on the House Ways and Means Education Committee and also chaired the Alabama School Safety and Student Security Task Force.

Collins, whose legislative service dates back to 2010, is a retired marketing executive and businesswoman who held a 16-year career in the banking industry in Decatur.

State Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan)
House Health Committee

Returning to his prior role, Lee will continue as chair of the House Health Committee after originally being appointed to the post by McCutcheon in 2019. He has served on the committee since first being elected to the Legislature in 2010.

A former Dothan city commissioner, Lee retired from Sony’s Magnetic Tape Division as senior production specialist following 31 years of service. He is the executive director of Wiregrass Rehabilitation Center in Dothan.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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