By Rep. Darrio Melton
Last week, Speaker Mike Hubbard promised that the Republicans would be “bolder” if they kept the supermajority after the election. This should be a wake up call to all Alabamians that we must stand up for our state this November.
We must stand up and vote to protect Alabama’s economy from the “bold” actions of the Republican supermajority. We are 49th in job growth in the entire United States and the only state with rising unemployment. We don’t need more “bold,” far-right policies that only help a privileged few. We need common sense economic reform for Alabama.
We must stand up and vote to protect public education from more “bold” assaults from the supermajority. Every Alabama school has lost $1,200 in funding per student since 2008. We lead the nation in cuts to public education. This is about our children’s futures, not “bold” changes that make big profits for private schools.
We must stand up and vote to protect our rural hospitals and access to health care from their “bold” disregard for Alabama’s medical needs. We must elect leadership who will expand Medicaid and give healthcare to 300,000 hard-working Alabamians, not allow the Republicans to play Washington-style politics and pander against President Obama.
Most importantly, we must stand up and vote to protect the cornerstones of democracy: open government and the right to vote.
The Republicans passed the Alabama Accountability Act, robbing $40 million of our tax dollars, behind closed doors in the middle of the night. They never allowed the bill to be seen by the public before passing it, and they even admitted they couldn’t have passed it through legal channels. These “bold” back room deals must stop.
In the past four years, the Republican supermajority has passed new district lines that are under Supreme Court review for stacking and packing minority voters to dilute their voices. They have passed photo ID laws to make it harder to cast a ballot and they have shortened the amount of time to register to vote.
They are afraid that we will stand up for these values that we hold dear in Alabama. That’s why they have worked to restrict the right to vote and operated government behind closed doors.
The Republicans know the public will throw them out of the State House if they knew what they were doing, so they tried to hide it. They’ve covered their trails with “bold” rhetoric and flashy talking points.
But we know the truth. The Republican supermajority has been nothing but bad for Alabama, and we will stand up for our state this November.
Representative Darrio Melton is a Democrat from Selma. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2010.