by Max Brantley
Former House Speaker Bill Stovall, who's been working as an assistant to House Speaker Benny Petrus, won't be leaving the Capitol any time soon. He will add to his duties the title of House constituency services director, succeeding Barbara McBride, when she retires June 1. The selection is the choice of the House speaker and the management committee. His salary will remain the same, $96,382. We got tipped to this by a Capitol employee who didn't seem happy that someone without a college degree (Stovall), would be supervising legislative staffers with degrees.
Buddy Johnson, coordinator of legislative services, in confirming the appointment said, "I have great confidence in Bill Stovall. Obviously the leadership does, too. He's done a tremendous job. The proof is in the way the session ran."
UPDATE: Just got a call from Speaker Petrus. "In my opinion, Mr. Stovall has a doctoral degree as far as the House of Representativers is concerned." Petrus, who defeated a Stovall-backed candidate, Will Bond, in his race for speaker, praised Stovall's integrity and knowledge and said he could have landed higher-paying jobs elsewhere. "I am very pleased to keep him on full time," Petrus said.