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For Immediate Release: July 29, 2015

CLOSING RURAL DRIVER'S LICENSE OFFICES DRAWS STRONG OPPOSITION

Representative David Standridge, House Rural Caucus Chairman,  Comments on the Rural Caucus’ Strong Opposition to Closing Rural Driver’s License Offices

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Last week Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier was quoted in media reports to have said that coming “online change(s) (affecting the issuing of driver’s licenses) will result in the closure of some field offices in rural areas.” Today, Representative David Standridge, Chairman of the Alabama House Rural Caucus, issued the following statement in strong opposition to Secretary Collier’s plans.

“As a citizen residing in rural Alabama and as Chairman of the Rural Caucus in the Alabama House of Representatives, I strongly oppose all efforts to single out ‘Rural Alabama’ for office closings by state agencies. The presence of State agencies in rural communities is vital to provide critical services to our rural citizens and to stimulate economic activity.”

“Secretary Collier’s plan is very concerning. The majority of rural Alabama has no high speed internet access at all and in those areas that do have it, access is very limited. If Secretary Collier ends driver’s license services in rural areas in favor of an online approach, he will effectively be forcing thousands of Alabama citizens to spend considerable time, effort and money to complete the essential task of obtaining and renewing their driver’s licenses.”

“To be clear, I do support technology advances, and I applaud the efforts of the agency, but I don’t understand how online services will take the place of our rural driver license offices when many of our rural citizens have no high speed internet. Accordingly, the Secretary’s plan, though noble and certainly good intentioned, unfortunately, isn’t a viable solution for rural Alabama.”

Representative Standridge concluded his statement by saying “I believe the Secretary’s approach will meet strong resistance from legislators representing rural areas of Alabama. Rural Alabama cannot grow when state agencies pick up and move out of rural areas. Legislators are committed to protecting their rural communities and are united to address this issue on behalf of our constituents.”

In the coming days, officers of the Rural Caucus will formally request a meeting with Secretary Collier and Governor Bentley to address their concerns. If necessary, Representative Standridge and other members of the Rural Caucus are prepared to express their concerns on the floor of the House of Representatives during the upcoming special session. 

The Alabama Rural Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state legislators who represent rural districts of the state. The Alabama Rural Caucus strives to improve the life of rural Alabama residents through the legislative process. Currently, the group is composed of 40 legislators who put party politics to the side and focus on how to better the lives of the residents of their rural districts.

Representative David Standridge has represented District 34 in the Alabama House of Representatives, which includes parts of Blount and Marshall Counties, since a special election in 2012. He was re-elected in 2014, without opposition, to a full term in the House. Representative Standridge, a former law enforcement officer and Blount County Probate Judge/Chairman of the Blount County Commission, is married to Danna, a retired teacher. The couple has three grown children and five grandchildren. The Standridges live in Hayden, in rural Blount County.


For More Information Contact: Rep. David Standridge at (205) 960-4679.


For More Information Visit This Website: Online Services To Replace Drivers License Offices


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