By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, January 19, newly re-elected Alabama Governor Robert Bentley told hundreds of family, friends, fellow elected officials, supporters, and well-wishers gathered in front of Alabama’s historic capital building for his inauguration that, “The people of this State won’t back down from a challenge. Not in the fight for civil rights, not in defending our nation’s Freedoms, not in the after math of devastating natural disasters. And as Leaders of this State, neither will we. And as your Governor, neither will I. We will face our challenges head on.”
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) administered the oath of office to Bentley, then the popular Governor began his inauguration speech.
Gov. Bentley said, “My Fellow Alabamians: Today marks a new day in our State’s history. It’s the dawn of a new year and a new time for Alabama. I want to thank you for choosing to spend this special day with me, and with your distinguished Constitutional officers as we embark on a new chapter in the great history of our State. As we each take the oath of office this day may we always be mindful of the promise we make to you- the people who elected us. You have entrusted us to serve you and all the citizens of this State with honesty and integrity, and with humility.”
Gov. Bentley continued, “We have sworn to uphold the Constitutions of both of our Great State and our Great Nation, to diligently carry out the duties of the Office to which we have been elected. I want you to know it is with great reverence that I honor the trust you have placed in me, as your Governor, and in Dianne as your First Lady.”
Bentley thank God for the opportunity to serve the people of Alabama and said that each morning is a new gift.
The Governor celebrated the achievements of his first term, “Unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2008. Tens of thousands of people are working today, who didn’t have a job four years ago. Towns and communities that have been without new major industry for decades now have new jobs, new opportunities and new hope. Our government is running more effectively and more efficiently. We have saved you, the taxpayers over $1.2 Billion dollars annually. Each one of our 67 counties is seeing opportunities for greater economic development because we created and embarked on the largest road and bridge repair project this state has ever seen. And we have given life-changing opportunities for children by expanding our top ranked voluntary Pre K program to thousands of preschoolers.”
The Governor warned however against complacency, “We can never allow ourselves to be satisfied with past achievements. We cannot rest on our laurels. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet tells the Children of Israel in Chapter 43, ‘Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See! I am doing a new thing.’ If we are continually looking behind, focused on our past – whether good or bad – we can’t see where we are going in our future. Past victories, and past failures have no bearing now on our future endeavors.”
Gov. Bentley said, “We must focus on what lies ahead if we are going to tackle the tough issues that face our State…There are no easy solutions, the decisions we must choose as your state leaders will be tough. But we will do what’s right and what’s best for our beloved State and our people.”
Gov. Bentley warned, “We face a budget shortfall that rises into the hundreds of millions of dollars. We must remedy the problems that have plagued our prison system for decades. And we must work to improve the well-being of our people by making healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone.” The Governor did not include any details of what he is planning or how he hopes to achieve all of this.
Governor Bentley also promised to, “Continue working hard every day to make sure anyone in Alabama who needs a job will have a job. We will keep working to create jobs so Alabama reaches full employment. We will focus on the needs of the thousands of small businesses that make up the backbone of our economy, knowing that it’s not just larger industries that are the ones helping to put Alabama back to work. We will train up a highly skilled workforce and give our people every opportunity for a well-paying job. And to those who have fought for our freedoms and served our country, our State and our communities with courage, we will show our gratitude to our Veterans by helping them find work.”
Gov. Bentley promised that, “At the end of the next four years we will be able to tell every parent in Alabama, there is a Pre-K classroom available for your child.” Again the popular Governor did not present much detail as to how all this would be accomplished in such a short period time or who would have to pay for it.