Tuscaloosa’s Gerald Allen will seek a third term in the Alabama Senate when his seat in District 21 is up for election in 2018, the Republican lawmaker announced Wednesday.
Allen entered state politics in 1994, when he was elected as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives. He switched parties in 1995 and served there for 16 years before he unseated Phil Poole in the state Senate in 2010.
Allen said he has been able to accomplish a lot during his second term in the Senate — he passed legislation forbidding the use of any foreign law in state courts and worked with other lawmakers to use tax dollars in Tuscaloosa County to repair, improve or construct highways in the area.
“That’s one that we’re very proud of,” Allen said. “It’s imperative that we be proactive and look to solve those huge traffic issues that face Tuscaloosa and HB-600 was a very positive start to address those.”
Still, Allen said he feels like he still has work to do immediately, in the 2018 legislative session and beyond.
The first item to tackle is prison reform, made more urgent by a Tuesday ruling from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson that called Alabama’s psychiatric care of inmates “horrendously inadequate.”
Allen said he anticipates the matter will be addressed during a special session of the Legislature sometime this fall.
“We’ve just got to address that issue,” Allen said. “We do not want a federal judge to place a burdensome penalty and tax on the backs of Alabamians, so it’s the job of the legislative body and the executive branch to come together, work together and find a solid, reasonable solution…
click here to read more.