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The Birmingham Section started 2015 with a political reception at the Murray Building Co. jobsite at the old Merita Bread Bakery. More than 150 members were in attendance with city and state officials. Everyone enjoyed a tour of the site as well as barbecue from Joe McNabb and Hendrix Chevrolet.

Coffee with Senator Strange

The most important thing contractors can do to help elect U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to a full term? Get out the vote.

“This is a stand-alone Senate race, very unusual,” Senator Strange said during a meeting with contractors over coffee at the Alabama AGC building in Irondale. “It’s motivating voters. Don’t be complacent.”

If constituents can coax a big turnout “there’s a chance” to win without a runoff, he said. “I thank you guys for getting this done.”

During the morning discussion, the Senator said infrastructure is high on his priority list. Contractors said that the state needs a gas tax to go along with a strong federal highway bill. A federal program would force Alabama’s hand when it becomes apparent the state won’t be able to match federal money.

“We can’t put it off,” Senator Strange said. “You can hardly get from here to Mobile from Thursday through Sunday. (I-65) is a parking lot. It’s good for Bates House of Turkey.

“All this manufacturing in Alabama is wonderful, but it’s increasing truck traffic and the need for infrastructure.”

The Senator also said that “simplifying taxes and getting money back into people’s pockets is a priority.”

As is dealing with the “regulatory state. The environmental and OSHA regulations. It’s getting out of control. The ultimate test is whether we can get the economy going.”

“Washington is amazing,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to run a business that way.”