Newly-Elected Speaker Mac McCutcheon prepares for new role

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Like the maestro of a band, newly elected Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon finds himself about to begin directing the business of the Alabama House of Representatives.

Only, unlike West Limestone & Ardmore High Schools, whose bands performed Monday night at Speaker McCutcheon's reception at the Limestone County Event Center, the legislature is 'out of tune.'

“It’ll take a little time but there will be a sense of public trust that will come back," says Speaker McCutcheon.

One of the most notable crescendos Speaker McCutcheon will have to navigate, is whether the House should proceed with the impeachment process against Governor Robert Bentley.  “Once the judiciary committee gets through with their investigation, I want to see the report come out, and of course, we’ll be making a decision based on the facts that we have," he says.

Then, of course, is the disharmony over instituting a state-wide lottery. The Speaker says its fate is uncertain after a legislative special session failed to get it on the November ballot.  “One, of course, is the lottery issue and what is a lottery? Paper lottery versus electronic lottery. Then you’ve got the gambling issue with bingo machines and the counties, and then on top of that you have the Indian compact the Governor has been talking about," says Speaker McCutcheon.

McCutcheon hopes to champion other reforms like allocating proper funding for the General Fund, but hopes his magnum opus will be restoring dignity and respect for the speakership and the House's members. “If we’ll go down there and do our job, and represent the people, I’m very hopeful that we’ll begin to regain their trust," he says.

Much like the reception thrown in his honor, Speaker McCutcheon has only a little time to enjoy the music before the baton lands in his hands.

The Alabama Legislature will reconvene February 7, 2017. Rep. McCutcheon was elected Speaker of the House during the Lottery Special Session back in August.