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Don't expect any laws against cell phones in Alabama

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–Some studies have indicated that it is more dangerous than drunk driving but it matters not, the Alabama Legislature isn't about to make it against the law to use a cell phone while driving.
Hell would have no fury like a woman (or man, for that matter) who was given a $50 ticket–which is what the bill proposes–for using a cell phone while driving.
State Rep. Jack Page, D-Gadsden, has sponsored such a bill, but pardon the pun when I say it has "stalled" in the Legislature and there is not a jumper cable available to get it moving again.
No doubt cell phones can be a distraction to a driver, but so can tuning the radio, eating a sausage-and-biscuit, or adjusting the air conditioner.
The bills propose increases in several license fees to hire the new troopers and give all the law enforcement officers in the Public Safety Department a four per cent raise during each of the next three years.
Among the increased fees: Raise the cost of drivers' licenses from $23 to $28; increase the commercial drivers license by $5; and increase the cost for getting a copy of a drivers record from $5.75 to $10.
These hikes would generate an estimated $13.5 million a year in new revenue.
The proposal to raise the cost of driving records has drawn opposition from insurance companies.
While these proposals appear to be on the fast track, still galling to some is the fact that while much is said about the state trooper shortage there are still enough of them to provide protection for coach Mike Shula and coach Tommy Tuberville at football games.
That practice sends a terrible message to the taxpayers.
Moore seemed flattered by the attention but said he did not plan a run for any political office until he finished his legal fight to get his old job back.
The party will meet in convention in June to pick its candidate, but leaders in the group said Moore would have to make his intentions known long before that.
Jim Clymer, the national chairman of the party, said he expected there would be a lot of support for Moore if indicated he wanted the nomination, but added that he would have to make his intentions known well in advance of the convention.
Walker, who resigned under heavy fire in mid-January, ironically is making $5,000 a year more than the man who succeeded him as interim president–Dr. Ed Richardson.
A spokesman for Auburn said Walker will continue to draw this salary until June, 2005. He also said that Dr. Richardson agreed with the decision to keep Walker on the payroll because he feels the university has an unwritten agreement with Walker.
Holmes is paid $42,250 a year by ASU to teach one class while other faculty members must teach four classes to earn a like amount. In addition, Holmes is paid another $21,344 by the university as a community liaison official. All of this is in addition to his legislative pay of about $30,000 a year.
Not bad for three part-time jobs.