Speaker-designate Nathaniel Ledbetter, the GOP Caucus nominee for speaker of the Alabama House, announced Wednesday his intended chair appointments to crucial chamber committees.
The appointments will become effective once Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) officially takes the Speaker’s gavel after the chamber’s organizational session in January. Given that Republicans hold a 77-member supermajority, his election as speaker is a certainty.
In announcing his intended appointments, Ledbetter said the lawmakers who will lead the committees as chairs are “uniquely qualified” to serve in the respective positions.
“I am confident that each of these members will serve our state well and invite new ideas and fresh perspectives to the committees they chair,” said Ledbetter in a release. “All of them possess unique skills, talents, experiences, and abilities that make them uniquely qualified to chair the committees they will be assigned to lead.”
State Rep. Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn) — Rules Committee
Lovvorn will head the agenda-setting committee that decides which legislative items will be considered on the floor. He is a retired firefighter and current realtor and small business owner.
He was elected to his seat in the Legislature’s lower chamber during a special election in September 2016. Lovvorn previously served as chair of the House Technology and Research Committee and as vice chair of the Ways and Means Education Committee.
State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) — Ways and Means Education Budget Committee
Garrett was appointed chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee in August 2021. The committee annually allocates more than $8 billion in state funding to the state’s public schools, community colleges and public universities.
Prior to his election to the House in 2014, Garrett had a career in the steel, rail and bus manufacturing industries. He formerly served as chief financial officer for two public corporations and a family-owned business.
A former vice president of the Trussville City Schools Board of Education, Garrett was previously a board member of Independence Place, a faith-based organization meeting the social and recreational needs of young adults with exceptional needs. He also served on the board of visitors for the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.
State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville) — Ways and Means General Fund Committee
Elected to the Legislature in 2018, Reynolds previously served as a member of the House Ways and Means General Fund budget-writing committee. The committee distributes nearly $3 billion in funding among Alabama’s non-education state agencies each year.
During his 35-year career with the City of Huntsville, Reynolds held the positions of police chief, public safety director, and city administrator, where he was responsible for a $225 million budget.
After his retirement from law enforcement in 2013, Reynolds served as regional vice president of a Huntsville-based communications company.
State Rep. Jim Hill (R-Odenville) — Judiciary Committee
Hill, who was elected to his seat in 2014, originally assumed the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee in 2017.
He was previously elected as district judge in St. Clair County in 1994 and as circuit judge in 2004. Hill retired from the bench in in 2013 and currently works for the law firm of Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. He also served as city attorney for the municipalities of Leeds and Moody prior to his judicial service.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL