Bentley and Griffith agree on problems, disagree on solutions

{}November elections are a few months away, but gubernatorial candidates are already honing in on key issues in Alabama. Sarah Snyder sat down with governor Robert Bentley and democratic challenger, Parker Griffith. {}They're focusing on healthcare, creating new jobs, and raising test scores for students. {}They agree on the problems facing Alabamians, but differ on the solutions. Alabama's 53rd Governor, Robert Bentley and challenger, also a physician and businessman, Parker Griffith agreed to answer questions about the direction our state is headed - both wanting more jobs, disagreeing on unemployment."We've never had a month when we've had a decrease in the number of people working in Alabama since I've been governor," Governor Robert Bentley (R) said."We're the only state in the nation with a rising unemployment rate," Parker Griffith, Gubernatorial Candidate (D) said. "That should send a loud message to us in Alabama. There's something we're not doing here."Bentley was one of many governors saying 'no' to starting a healthcare exchange for the affordable care act hoping to ultimately change or repeal the law known as Obamacare. {}"Failure to expand Medicaid puts a tremendous burden on our small hospitals," Griffith said. "We've had 10 hospitals close. A county without a hospital cannot do economic development. The expansion of Medicaid would have brought $1.14 billion into our economy each year plus creating 30,000 jobs.""That money would come to us for the first three years, but after then, we have to pay up to 10% of that," Bentley said. "What we will have to do in the state of Alabama is come up with 400-700 million more dollars in the general fund and we don't have that."Griffith wants to start an education lottery. He says it could add more dollars into Alabama education. Bentley doesn't think it's the best way to fund schools, but Bentley and Griffith agree on improving low performing subjects, like math. {}"We're putting an extra $10 million in our{}Pre-K{}program and we're going to continue to do that," Bentley said. "Because students who have a good strong foundation in Pre-K, they do well.""The earlier we expose children to their colors and numbers and prepare them, to enter{}Pre-K{}or kindergarten, the better they do," Griffith said.Both also discussed the need to find a better way to fund roads and bridges, reform the prison system, and bring more jobs to the state. Alabama voters go to the polls November 4th.
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