By Rep. Darrio Melton
Last week, Republican legislators shot down Governor Bentley’s plan to explore new revenue streams for the State of Alabama. The legislative leadership emphatically rejected the idea of new taxes for Alabama, and instead Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the solution is to cut Alabama’s work force by an additional nine percent.
For the past four years, the Republican supermajority has balanced the budget on the backs of teachers and State employees. Our teachers make less today than they did four years ago. Our state employees are at risk of losing their jobs in an effort to “right size” the government.
Meanwhile, we’re offering millions in economic incentives for a company to come to Alabama with no provision that they actually create the jobs they say they’ll bring to our communities.
Alabama is experiencing economic growth at a rate slower than every state other than Alaska. We are in an economic crisis and we will not solve it by turning our backs on the hardest working people in this State.
We cannot expect to dig ourselves out of an economic hole by taking the shovels away from those who are doing the most digging.
Instead, we must invest in those people who work hard to make our State great.
Without our public school teachers, our children don’t have a chance to learn, grow and achieve. Without our entrepreneurs, we don’t have small businesses to fill our town squares. Without hard working Alabamians to carry out the state’s business, we would soon find that lines are longer and operations are less efficient.
This State has great resources and hard working people–there’s no reason that we can’t be number one in something other than football. But as every football coach knows, the game will suffer if your players aren’t fed, well-trained and motivated to perform well. The same is true for our workforce in Alabama.