The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

January 29, 2014

Rep. Williams avoids snowstorm, 'ready to do business'

By Budd McLaughlin

— There may not have been enough legislators to conduct business in Montgomery, but Rep. Dan Williams braved the harsh weather Tuesday to do his job.

Williams, R-Athens, was one of just 40 House members — out of 105 — who made it to the Statehouse. However, 53 members were needed for a quorum to conduct business and Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s sessions were called off.

The state Senate had 22 of its 35 members show up and was able to work Tuesday.

Williams said he left Tuesday morning for Montgomery — just ahead of the winter storm that crippled Birmingham and other cities.

“I left Athens about 8 o’clock and got here at 11,” he said. “We didn’t hit any weather until about Clanton (between Birmingham and Montgomery).”

Wednesday’s sessions were called off because of the icy road conditions in the area. But both houses are expected to try to meet today.

“We’re going back at 10 o’clock,” Williams said. “We’ll probably have a quorum to do some business.”

Williams said he was hesitant about driving to Montgomery when he saw the chance of bad weather but had a bill in committee and needed to be there.

And, just as luck would have it, “they moved it to next week.”

For the time being, he and about 25 other legislators are in the same hotel but a lot of businesses were closed Tuesday.

“Even the Walmart was closed,” he said. “We found a hamburger place and I had a cheeseburger.

“Today at 11 o’clock, we ate at Cracker Barrel but they were going to close at 5.”

So, another cheeseburger for dinner it seems.

And then it’s back to work Thursday.

“We lost two days but it won’t be too bad,” Williams said. “We’re ready to do business.”