By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Later this evening, Governor Robert Bentley will unveil his far-reaching agenda to move the State forward into the future. The bold, yet inactive “Great State 2019” Plan, outlines a list of priorities often discussed, but rarely acted upon. If this Governor is successful in completing his goal for the State, he will have a legacy claimed by few.
From educational opportunities that offer real hope of impacting the lives of students, to rebuilding the prison systems crumbling infrastructure, Governor Bentley is looking beyond the horizon of his own administration.
The 14-page plan is detailed with strong solutions for systemic problems that have plagued Alabama for decades.
Under the heading, Investing in Alabama’s Education, Bentley has set a goal of offering First Class Pre-K available to every parent who chooses to enroll their four-year-old child in a classroom. He will also institute a “last dollar” tuition scholarship program to allow every child in Alabama the opportunity to attend a community college.
In his plan, Governor Bentley introduces a sweeping change in corrections, adding new prisons, refurbishing others, offering common sense reform, strengthening community-based supervision, prioritizing prison for violent, dangerous offenders and improving the parole process.
The Governor also plans to expand workforce development, increase the number of health professionals in rural areas, and make broadband internet access available to the furthest reaches of the State.
The agenda will attract advocates and adversaries from every side, but he is determined to map a new direction for the State, far beyond the status quo. Something that may in fact make Alabama greater.