Gov. Bentley mentions jobs, Obamacare in State of the State Address
MONTGOMERY - AL —
Gov. Robert Bentley says what fuels Alabama is jobs.
"Our hard working neighbors deserve opportunities to acquire skills needed to get a great job that pays well," he said.
He also says what's bringing Alabama down is Obamacare and federal spending.
"The 'Anything-but-affordable-care-act' has done nothing to gain our trust," Bentley said.
He says Obamacare and the growing demand of government dependency programs are bleeding Alabama dry.
"Our great nation is $17.2 trillion in debt and it increases by $2 billion every single day," he said.
Bentley, in his State of the State Address, Tuesday, says he does not want to expand Medicaid because it already takes up about 35 percent of the state's budget.
Another high point of Bentley's address was the mentioning of Alabama's growing employment.
Gov. Bentley says 59,400 jobs have been added since taking office in 2011. He credits foreign manufacturers and Alabamians for the lowest unemployment rate the state has seen in years at 6.2 percent.
"We've focused on a lot over the past few years on creating job opportunities and creating that environment where businesses want to come to Alabama," Sen. Scott Beason said. "We're going to continue to build on that success. I was glad to hear [Bentley] say that."
Some democrats, like Rep. Juandalynn Givan, agree that more needs to be done for jobs. But, she says Gov. Bentley offered no real solutions either on jobs or federal spending.
"[If] we cut some of these other programs that we have, maybe we'll have enough that is necessary with regards to healthcare, with regards to education and also with regards to jobs," Givan said.
Republicans say job creation and the educational means to get there...simple.
"By creating more private sector jobs, getting people to work," Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Hubbard said. "In government, we don't create jobs, but we can create a climate that's conducive to creating jobs."
Other high points included more money in this year's budget for Pre-K programs and proposing a two percent pay raise for Alabama teachers and state workers.