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For Immediate Release: December 8, 2010

Representative Kerry Rich: “Our slate is very full”

Newly elected House District 26 Rep. Kerry Rich said legislation to address illegal immigration, abortion and term limits is high on his list of goals.

Rich, R-Albertville, already served in the Legislature twice before — once in the 1970s and again in the 1990s.

“When I was there before, you had 31 Republicans and 74 Democrats in the House,” he said. “Now, you’re going to have at least 66 Republicans and 39 Democrats. Just that within itself is a huge difference.

“You’ve got a few Democrats that are a little bit conservative on two or three issues. As a rule most all of them are pretty liberal in their viewpoint on things. I wouldn’t call any of them conservative. How they define conservative and I define conservative are two different things.”

Rich said Republicans have a considerable amount of work to do.

“Our slate is very full,” he said. “There’s a lot of local issues we’re going to have to deal with. But we’ve got a good number to do most anything we decide as a group that we want to do.”

Rich said Gov. Riley’s special session targeting ethics reform is important. The special session started Wednesday.

“When you get into the regular session in March, there’s going to be so many things people want to take on that I think it would be best to get ethics reform out the way,” Rich said.

‘A huge difference’
Since swearing in to office the day after the Nov. 2 election, Rich has spent a number of hours in meetings.

“We’ve been having meetings with a lot of different people trying to get up to date and up to speed,” he said. “We’ve met with the (Marshall) County Commission and the superintendents. A lot of different people want us to do a lot of different things. Of course, the three of us have to agree on any local legislation.”

Rich is referring to his two other fellow Republicans in the Marshall County Legislative Delegation, Sen. Clay Scofield and Rep. Wes Long.

“We’re going to have a very good working relationship,” Rich said. “Both of them are very bright, very cooperative. I feel really good about it. We are like-minded as far as philosophy for the most part. That makes a huge a difference.”

Rich is already developing legislation to tackle illegal immigration, abortion and term limits.

“I’m working on a lot of different things,” he said. “I’m working on trying to get legislation prepared to deal with the illegal immigration issues, abortion law changes and a term limits bill.

“Nebraska passed a law last spring and what this bill would do, it would say after 20 weeks of pregnancy you can’t have an abortion, period. If a child is aborted after that point, then the child suffers severe pain.

“Right now, the law is that the person going to have an abortion is required to have a sonogram, but the law doesn’t say they’re required to see it. I want to change that so they’ll be required to see it. The law we have is not really being enforced. States can’t totally ban abortion, but there are a lot of things states can do as far as restrictions.”

Term limits is another important issue to Rich. His plan is to limit a legislator to three four-year terms, then the legislator would have to remain out of public office for four years before serving again.

“I’d be stricter but I think you’ve got to be realistic in how your approach it in order for it to have a chance to pass,” Rich said. “I think three four-year terms, then skip four years where you couldn’t serve as a lobbyist, legislator, state employee or in the administration. Then, if you wanted to come back and serve again, you could.”

District 26 includes portions of southeastern Marshall County and western DeKalb County.

“My first job is to represent District 26,” Rich said. “Am I interested in the entire state? Sure I am. We will be able to work together and take on a much broader spectrum of issues than the Democrats ever did.”

For More Information Contact: Lionel Green - Sand Mountain Reporter

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