FAIRHOPE — Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) was in South Alabama Wednesday to honor veterans and give a legislative update.

Ledbetter attended the Veterans Day event at Fairhope High School in Baldwin County and then went to Mobile for the Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He said witnessing young people in Fairhope honoring veterans and God was rewarding.

“I think we would all be better off if we had more of this across the state and across the country,” Ledbetter told 1819 News. “I think bringing people together and being grateful for what we’ve been given and protection that these veterans have given us is something we should do more often.”

Ledbetter was the keynote speaker at the Fairhope event, and he told students it’s important to appreciate freedom.

Following the event, Ledbetter mingled with veterans from the community for a reception. Being from North Alabama himself, he said it was important to hear from constituents in South Alabama, a region that is one of the state’s important economic drivers.

“It’s phenomenal,” he said. “We’ve spent a lot of time down here, and we’ve got friendships from the area, including Sandy Stimpson and Jo Bonner,” said Ledbetter. “It seems like the south of the state and the north of the state are thriving. This year, we have been able to look at the relocation of the airport, we have to look at the port, and we did something to widen and deepen the port, and I think it’s paying off. The statistics I am seeing are phenomenal, and it’s Alabama’s port. We ship things all over the country and not only that but all over the world. So, Mobile and Baldwin’s got it going on, and we want to make sure we continue trying to help them and give them any help they need.”

Ledbetter said the two counties are growing. He believes the best is yet to come for the region.

Some top priorities he believes will be debated in the upcoming session include lottery and gaming, employment participation, and school choice.

State Rep. Matt Simpson (R-Daphne) chairs the committee reforming ethics laws. The committee has been meeting for months, working to improve the operations of the Ethics Commission. Ledbetter said the Ethics Commission touches everyone in the state in some way, and that’s why it’s important to look closely at how the system works.

“He’s done a great job and I look forward to seeing his report,” said Ledbetter. “He gives me an update ever so often and they’ve been very busy. Our goal is to make it more transparent, and I think that makes it stronger.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.