Alabama legislator Jim Patterson of Meridianville has died. Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said Patterson died Monday of a heart attack. He was 67. Patterson, a Republican, was first elected to the Alabama Legislature in 2010.
Patterson is survived by his wife, Susan Carter Patterson, and their children. According to his legislative biography, Patterson served in the United States Army from 1972 until 1976 and then served another six years in the Army Reserves. He retired after 29 years as a pharmaceutical representative.
Patterson this year successfully sponsored legislation to mandate insurance coverage of autism therapy. When the bill passed in May, Patterson told reporters, "We need more of this is Montgomery." McCutcheon said everyone at the Alabama Statehouse "will miss `Big Jim' and his equally big personality."