It looks like Alabama might have a new Senate Majority Leader in the near future.
1819 News has learned Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) is planning to resign his seat soon to accept a new position as a lobbyist with the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), according to multiple sources.
One source who wished to remain anonymous told 1819 News Scofield joining BCA was the "worst kept secret in Montgomery."
David Cole, BCA's former senior vice president of governmental affairs, left BCA in August to accept a President/CEO position at the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association. BCA hired Cole for the role in 2019.
Alabama's ethics laws mandate a two-year "cooling off period" before a legislator can begin lobbying the "legislative body" in which he or she used to be a member. Therefore, Scofield would, in theory, be barred from lobbying his former colleagues in the Senate and the House for two years if he resigned his seat. However, he'd be free to lobby any other areas of government immediately.
"I think he has to wait two years but like I said they gutted a lot of the law a year or two after I left," Dr. Stewart Tankersley, a former member of the Alabama Ethics Commission, told 1819 News on Monday.
Scofield didn't return a request for comment on Monday from 1819 News.
Scofield was first elected to the Senate on November 2, 2010. Senator Scofield was selected by his colleagues in November 2020 to serve as the Majority Leader for the Senate Republican Caucus.
The BCA was founded in 1985 to advocate for Alabama's business community. The group has opposed some of the more populist measures by Republican lawmakers in recent years. They opposed a bill in 2021 requiring employers to allow employees to claim an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs. They also opposed the original version of an anti-ESG bill passed in the 2023 session before switching to neutral after the bill was later amended.
Editor's note: Story was updated to indicate a 2014 change in the law prohibits lobbying for the entire legislature during the two-year "cooling off period."
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