Jones seeking 3rd term

Published 12:54 am Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mike Jones Jr. has announced his intention to seek election to a third term in the Alabama House of Representatives, District 92, in 2018.

The Andalusia attorney, a Republican, was first elected in 2010. At present, he holds the second most powerful job in the House, having recently been appointed chairman of the House Rules Committee.

The Rules Committee sets the agenda for the bills that are considered. The chairman has a great deal of influence on what bills get on the calendars, and coordinates the movement of resolutions through the legislature.

Jones said he is proud to have fulfilled two promises he made when he first entered state politics.

“I said I would read every bill I voted for, and that we would hold town hall meetings before and after the sessions,” he said this week.

Both have helped establish his reputation in Montgomery as a member to whom others look for guidance on legislation.

He said it has always been his goal to be a statesman, not a politician.

“I try to be courteous to all members, on the floor and off,” he said. “I’m a stickler when it comes to the rules.”

He said he also considers whether legislation will help or hurt the state and the district.

In his seven years in the legislature, he has sponsored 40 pieces of legislation, including resolutions, general legislation and Constitutional Amendments.

As a freshman representative, he was the lead sponsor of a platform bill which established a baseline for Ethics Commission funding and prevents future legislatures from decreasing funding to the Commission if they don’t agree with its actions.

Jones, who practices law in Andalusia, also serves as the local municipal judge. He previously served eight years on the Andalusia City Council, and chaired the board of directors of Southeast Gas. He earned a B.S. from Birmingham-Southern University and a law degree from the University of Alabama.

Since 2015, he has served as chair of the House Judiciary Committee, a post he held until being appointed chairman Rules this summer. As Judiciary chairman, he shepherded a prison reform package through the legislature, and was charged with leading impeachment proceedings against then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned the week hearings were to begin.

“The prison reform bills were an absolute necessity,” he said. “We started with the fact that we were at 190 percent occupancy. When the prisons in California were taken over by the feds, the occupancy was lower than that.”

One of those bills established a process in which former prisoners can obtain a driver’s license when released.

“That came entirely from my experience being a city judge,” he said. “The whole point of prison is to serve time, and then behave responsibility. We need them to be contributing citizens.

“But if we didn’t allow them the ability to get a license, there is no way for them to drive legally back and forth to work,” he said.

In his first term, he served on the Rules, Judiciary, and Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure committees. In 2013, the School Superintendents of Alabama presented its annual Power of One award for legislative service to Rep. Jones.

He and his wife, Kathy Harper Jones, Kathy Harper Jones, are the parents of two daughters, Olivia and Sophia. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Andalusia and is a member of a number of community and civic organizations including Andalusia Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Alabama Easter Seals, and the National Rifle Association.