State Representative Alvin Holmes of Montgomery accuses House Speaker Mike Hubbard of secretly reimbursing expenses for more than 40 trips house members took. Holmes says Hubbard had said no trips made between June and September would be reimbursed.
Holmes says he's counted 48 in-state and out-of-state trips that lawmakers were reimbursed for between June 8 and September 30. He says that's roughly $7,000 that taxpayers covered after Hubbard sent out an email in June stating no members will be approved for any trips.
"I am requesting that Mike Hubbard personally pay back all of the money to the State Comptroller," he says.
Holmes says if Hubbard does not pay back the state by the first day of the legislative session, he will draft a resolution.
"He gave us his word that he would not authorize any traveling. It's wrong, and It's unfair," he says.
Hubbard would not go on camera, but he did release a statement.
He says as required by law of the Code of Alabama, "legislators who live outside Montgomery, but travel to the State House for committee meetings and other routine business associated with their office have had their mileage and associated expenses paid."
Hubbard also stated that Holmes' news conference "insults the intelligence of Alabama's citizens and smacks of the politics of the past that voters here have rejected."
"He doesn't make any exceptions! He doesn't say except committee hearings, or except budget hearings," says Holmes. "He should have let the citizens of the state of Alabama know that he changed his mind. Then they say, 'Oh look at Mike Hubbard. He's saving the people of Alabama money!' And they are traveling and eating steaks!"
Holmes has asked each of the lawmakers who were reimbursed what was the purpose of their trip, but he says he hasn't heard back.
Holmes says lawmakers who were reimbursed were both Republicans and Democrats.
He says he doesn't know if any of those lawmakers took their trip before June, and turned in their receipts after Hubbard sent out the email.