Our website is here to better connect the citizens of Shelby county with their legislators. On our "Home" page, you will find videos and email links to of each delegate, as well as, updates on what your legislators are doing around the state and county.
The "Contact Us" page has an email form that comes directly to my email mailbox, but there is also an email address, physical address, contact number, and fax number listed.
Please feel free to contact me or any members of the delegation with your questions. We hope you find this website helpful and look forward to working with you on making Alabama a better place to live.
Mimi W. Penhale
Representative Farley was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives on November 2, 2010 and ran for reelection in 2014 unopposed.
He attended Jefferson State Junior College and Jacksonville State University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. Representative Farley had a 36 year career in law enforcement, the last seven of which he served as Assistant Jefferson County Sheriff.
Representative Drake serves on the Children and Senior Advocacy Committee, Judiciary, Shelby County Legislation, and Jefferson County Legislation. He serves as the Co-chair to the House's Public Safety and Homeland Security Committe.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Auxiliary Board of the Jefferson County Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.
He is married to Muriel Farley and they have been married for 36 years. They have three daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Representative Farley and his wife are members of Grace Life Baptist Church in McCalla.
Shelby County Represenatives during Health Committee Meeting
Senator Ward Discusses Prison Reform
Rep, Weaver Named 2015 Rural Electric Assoc. Representative of the Year
Rep. Allen Farley and Rep. Dickie Drake at State House
Senator McClendon works on Redistricting in Al
2016 End of Session Update
By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director
The 2016 Session ended on Wednesday, May 4th. As always, the last few days of session can be a whirlwind of bills being passed and the reality that some bills will die without ever getting a floor vote. This year, there were a many bills that did not make it out of the Legislature, some of which could have major repercussions on the citizens of Alabama. Major concerns are based off of three pieces of legislation that did not pass: the Prison Bond bill, Medicaid Funding, and the BP Settlement money. Here is a brief explanation on why people are concerned about these issues.
Prison Bond Bill
Last year the Legislature passed major legislation to combat the overcrowded prison system problem in Alabama. The legislation changed sentencing guidelines, created another Class of felony and penalties for some nonviolent offenders, and increased the number of probation officer positions, as well as a number of other measures, in an effort to safely decrease the number of nonviolent offenders who are overcrowding the current system. This was a step in the right direction to avoid federal government intervention on Alabama’s prison system, which would include a mass release of inmates.
The next step for Prison Reform was the creation of new prisons in the state. While the 2015 legislation moves the state in the right direction, the legislation will only decrease the number of new inmates, not the current population. At around 190% capacity, something must be done to decrease the overcrowded system and the fastest way to do that, without a mass release, is by creating more bed space. Major stakeholders in Alabama believe that the creation of new prions is the best way to prevent a federal takeover. The 2016 Legislation sought to build four new prisons using an $800 million bond issue. The proposed prison plan would house between 3,000 and 4,000 inmates. Many of our existing prisons would then be closed due to being outdated and not up to federal standards.
Lawmakers concluded session before a compromise could be reached on the bill.
Medicaid funding is part of the General Fund Budget, which was passed out of the Legislature and signed by the Governor around the middle of session. The issue with Medicaid funding is that the budget does not fully fund the $785 million that the Alabama Medicaid Agency says it needs for 2017. The legislature instead chose to fund Medicaid for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year at $700 million. According to Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar, the results of not fully funding the requested Medicaid budget, will be a drop in services for many Alabamians on Medicaid.
Medicaid covers over 1 million Alabamians medical costs. The Medicaid Agency fears that the lack of funding will result in doctors refusing Medicaid patients and services being cut in rural areas. Both would mean longer travel and wait times for poor adults, children, disabled individuals, and the elderly.
Session ended with no additional money going to the 2017 Medicaid Budget.
BP Settlement Money
The BP Settlement issue is twofold: how to receive the money and what to do with the money. The BP Oil Spill Settlement for the state of Alabama is $1 billion that is to be dispersed as $50 million a year over the next 20 years. Many lawmakers support the idea of the state taking a lump sum of around $640 million, by getting a bond issue, instead of the yearly payments. Even though the lump sum would mean less dollars for the state, the lump sum would provide the state with money it could use right now, instead of waiting years to collect enough money to carry out some much needed projects.
The second, and more hotly debated, issue is how to use the money. Lawmakers from south Alabama, especially Baldwin and Mobile counties, believe that more money from the settlement should come to their counties. These counties were hit the hardest by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, which resulted in loss of jobs, tourism, and food production, especially seafood, in these areas. Other lawmakers argue that restoration projects for the affected areas have already been funded by separate money, so the entire state should benefit from the settlement.
The House passed a bill that would use the money to pay back $450 million of the state debt and would give $190 million to costal road projects. However, the bill did not make it out of the Senate committee due to many senators favoring a plan to pay back $540 million of the state debt and using $100 million for road projects across the state, with a double share going to Baldwin and Mobile counties.
Lawmakers concluded session without finding middle ground on the settlement money. Since no decision was made, the state will receive the $50 million a year and hold the money until lawmakers can decide how the money will be dispersed.