Montgomery State Sen. Dick Brewbaker has resigned from the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus.
The two-term Republican, who announced in November he does not plan to seek re-election in 2018, resigned Friday to protest the way various lottery proposals have been handled in the current special session of the Alabama Legislature. Monday, Brewbaker said he assumes his resignation means he will lose his seat as chairman of the Senate Education and Youth Affairs Committee.
Brewbaker was joined by Cullman State Sen. Paul Bussman.
Both lawmakers have said they remain Republican, but have sent formal letters to Senate leadership withdrawing from the majority caucus.
“In order for the Alabama Senate to operate fairly, we have set rules by which all members must abide,” Bussman said in a Facebook post Tuesday explaining his resignation. “This organized process is crucial to a fair and transparent government. It is when these rules are not followed that the breakdown of the system occurs. The process broke down last week when these rules were violated. These rules cannot be used when convenient and discarded when it is inconvenient.”
Bussman continued, “I can no longer sit back and ignore the actions of the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus leadership which are misguided, unequally applied, punitive and divisive. As a result, the caucus has made a significant shift in priorities since 2010. In order for us to be successful in Alabama, we cannot return to the old ways of doing business. We are expected to do better and we must do better.”
Despite the defections, the GOP will still hold the supermajority in the Alabama Senate with 24 members. There are only eight Democrats and one independent.