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On Thursday, Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives voted for Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) to serve as the next Speaker of the House.

Although it will not be official until the full chamber votes in the organizational session next year, Ledbetter is already considering what specific areas to address in the 2023 legislative session and beyond.

During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," the DeKalb Republican lawmaker echoed Gov. Kay Ivey's remark's a week earlier and named education a top priority.

"When we ran for it, we had some things we wanted to look at doing," Ledbetter said. "One of them is, pretty upfront with that is trying to improve education, help to improve it, and to move the needle and to move us up. And I think everybody working together, we can do that. I'm very positive that we can. So, we'll look at that."

Ledbetter also named adoption, fentanyl, and enhancing Alabama's waterways as other areas to address.

"There's some things we've got to do with adoption," Ledbetter explained. "I think we've got to improve the way we do adoptions in Alabama. We've got to address the fentanyl problem. We've got to do that right away because it's become an epidemic in our state.

"I think when you look at that – one thing we announced yesterday in our speech that will be interesting to the folks in your area, as speaker – we're going to start a new committee that will be for inland waterways and ports. And I think Alabama has got like 10% of all the freshwater in the United States, which is important with the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, with the Port of Mobile, with the Port of Huntsville, and the one that's going to be in Montgomery I just think is an opportunity that going to be for us to use what the good Lord has given us in our state and I'm excited about that. I think it's going to bring a lot more commerce to the Mobile area, and so we're kind of excited about that going forward."

Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.

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