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Thursday, April 30, 2009

House does not vote on Acadome resolution … yet

Leaders in the Alabama House of Representatives set aside a bill Thursday morning that would tell the trustees at Alabama State University to rename the Acadome for Joe Reed.
Enough members of the House wanted to speak against renaming the athletic arena that House Majority Leader Ken Guin, D-Carbon Hill, moved to carry the bill over, but it could come up again.
Republicans in the House, including Jay Love of Montgomery, said the Legislature should not override the wishes of the board of trustees at any university. They said the Legislature would be micromanaging the board.
"I maintain it is bad public policy for the Legislature to insert itself into renaming a building when the school’s board of trustees made it quite clear what their intentions are when it comes to that," Love said.
After Reed’s name had been on the Acadome since 1991, the board removed the name after a majority of the members had a public disagreement with Reed.
Some Democratic lawmakers have tried to rename the facility for Reed, a former trustee who attended the university. He is also a vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference and associate executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association.
Reed has been a longtime force in Alabama politics, but he is a polarizing figure.
With his contributions to helping to elect blacks to public office in the state and his contributions to Alabama State, several people have said Reed is deserving of having his name on the building.
Reed has said having a building named after a person is an honor and having it removed is a dishonor.
The Senate already approved the resolution, which Clerk of the House Greg Pappas said is not binding. Senate Majority Leader Zeb Little, D-Cullman, sponsored the bill.
Guin, Little and others have said it is not unprecedented for the Legislature to name buildings, roads and bridges.
"If the state appropriates money to an institution, we certainly have the right to name a building," Guin said.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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