Lawmakers, Politicians React To Governor's Speech

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By Ashley Thompson

Governor Robert Bentley took the podium at the Capitol to let the citizens of Alabama know how the state is doing. He also outlined future plans for Alabama. Plenty of lawmakers and politicians were in attendance to hear the Governor's speech.

Lawmakers we spoke with tell us they were pleased with Governor Bentley's State of the State Address saying he laid out a positive, conservative agenda. One of many subjects the Governor spoke of was Alabama's trust fund, explaining the importance of paying back money owed. Senator Bryan Taylor says he too, is lobbying to maintain a more balanced budget.

"I was really glad to hear him say that his top priority is to pay the Alabama trust fund back," he says. "That's the bill I'm sponsoring in the Senate this week, get it out of the House, get it over the to Governor's desk as quickly as we can"

In his address, Governor Bentley referred to the hostage situation in Dale County numerous times as well as the elementary school shooting in Connecticut. Although gun control is a hot button issue right now, House Speaker Mike Hubbard says protecting the Second Amendment is one of his top priorities.

"The majority of Republicans in the Legislature, our theme is we dare defend our rights," says Hubbard. "We have a number of bills in our agenda. One is to make a constitutional amendment making the Second Amendment right in the U.S. Constitution very strong in the state of Alabama, strongest in the country." 

The Governor recommended giving teachers and their support personnel a two-and-a-half percent pay raise. Political Analyst Steve Flowers says that came as a surprise.

"Jay Love here in Montgomery has indicated that he did not want to do that unless the raise was sustainable. You know, once you give a pay increase, you can't take it back," says Flowers.

The Governor also spoke of expanding Alabama's Pre-K program and his plan to make it more accessible. Jeana Ross of the Department of Children's Affairs say this is what she is most looking forward to.

"Right now, we're only serving six percent of the children," she says. "It is so exciting to think of the possibility of expanding this high quality program to the children of Alabama. Access is key." 

The Governor closed by saying all eyes were on the state of Alabama fifty years ago during the Civil Rights Movement and now in 2013 he would again like for all eyes to be on Alabama but this time for our innovation and economic

 




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