MONTGOMERY — State Senate Democrats kept Sen. Zeb Little as their majority leader Tuesday after he apologized for alcohol use that led to his arrest for driving under the influence.
Little, D-Cullman, met in private with the Senate Democratic Caucus to discuss his arrest Friday in Jefferson County.
“He accepted full responsibility for his actions. He apologized to us individually and as a caucus,” Senate budget committee Chairman Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said.
Bedford and Senate President Pro Tem Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, said there was no discussion of Little stepping down as Senate majority leader — a high-profile position that makes him a spokesman for Senate Democrats — and the caucus retains confidence in him.
Smitherman and Bedford said Little told the caucus that he struggled with alcohol and is getting help. They said the public apology he issued after his arrest and his desire for help were important to Senate Democrats continuing to support him.
Little was arrested by state troopers on Interstate 65 in Jefferson County about 5 p.m. Friday on charges of driving under the influence, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, violation of Alabama’s law against having an open liquor container in a car, and driving with an expired license.
Little declined to discuss his arrest with reporters Tuesday.
“We are just going forward,” he said.
But in an interview Monday with his hometown newspaper, The Cullman Times, Little said, “I have struggled with alcohol. I have had long periods of sobriety. I have stumbled.”
He said he accepts responsibility for his mistakes.
“I am prepared to accept whatever consequences there are,” he said.
All positions in the Alabama Legislature are up for election in 2010.
- State News
Common Core repeal, wiretapping among dead bills
A repeal of the Common Core curriculum standards and a cap on payday loan interest rates are among the legislative proposals that are dead for the session.
STATE: Judge to hold trial on Alabama abortion law
A federal judge considering the constitutionality of a new Alabama abortion law said Monday he will hold a trial on whether the law creates a substantial obstacle to abortion by requiring abortion clinic doctors to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals.
Ala. Legislature has governor blocked on pay raise
Gov. Robert Bentley may have no way to give education employees the 2 percent pay raise he has recommended.
House committee approves budget without teacher bonus
A House committee has voted to do away with a proposed bonus for education employees and instead put the money toward that group’s health insurance costs.
Common Core sides spar over ‘opt out’ bill
After efforts to repeal Common Core fell flat, a state senator on Tuesday urged lawmakers to let local school systems opt out of the education standards.
Payday lender regulation bill stalls in committee
The House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday sent a payday-loan regulation bill to a subcommittee, a move that the bill's sponsor called an effort to kill the legislation.
2 dead after north Alabama house fire
A mother and daughter are dead after a house fire in north Alabama.
Dothan considers entertainment districts downtown
The Dothan City Commission may be asked soon to authorize open consumption of alcoholic beverages during designated events and in designated locations in the downtown area.
More students moving to private schools in Ala.
More students are moving from public to private schools with the help of scholarships provided by groups that were able to raise the maximum amount of money allowed by Alabama law.
REGIONAL: Ky. propane firm says shipping glut slowed orders
The head of a Kentucky propane company that stopped sending the heating gas to business customers in several states said problems with supply and shipping forced the company to halt deliveries.
- More State News Headlines
- Common Core repeal, wiretapping among dead bills