As we reported earlier this week, Senator Paul Bussman of Cullman voted on March 8 against sending the Del Marsh-sponsored RAISE/PREP bill out of committee and on to the full Senate.

Shortly after Bussman learned that President Pro Tem Marsh was not pleased and removed the north Alabama Republican as vice-chair of the rules committee, one of the most powerful committees in the senate.  I talked to Senator Bussman and he told me that he was still a member of the committee.

However, it is being reported by and other media that he has also been removed from the committee.

Bussman, who is a dentist and in his second term in the senate, is known for speaking his mind and for doing his homework.  Nor does he take kindly to the games that are often played with politics.  So it is hardly a surprise that he told the full senate on March 17, “No senator should feel intimidated or threatened.  And I will not be intimidated, and if threatened, I will respond.  No senator should sit quietly by when they have concerns about legislation that affects the citizens of Alabama.  I will not be silenced.”

This is a rare moment of candor coming from a body where leadership expects most members to be seen and not heard.

We need more lawmakers in Montgomery with the courage and moral compass of Paul Bussman–not less.

There are 730,000 students in our public schools and nearly 40,000 teachers.  Senator Bussman thinks the RAISE/PREP bill is more harmful than helpful for them.  So he voted his conscience.  Good for him.  It is a sad commentary on the status of politics in this state when voting to stand with the education community is considered to be bad.

Given the fact that Senator Bussman is a dentist, I think it worth re-visiting an earlier post that exposes the foolishness of treating dentists in the manner the RAISE/PREP bill proposes to treat teachers.