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Bentley: “I trust the people of Alabama”

By Bob Howell – WSFA 12 News Anchor, Montgomery, AL

Appearing on WSFA 12 News Alabama Live, Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley said when it comes to resolving the issue of gambling in the state, he trusts the people of Alabama.  Bentley promised to do away with the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling. “All these gambling laws were put in place by a vote of the people,” he said. “They were constitutional amendments.  The only way we can change these is by a vote of the people…that’s what I’m for. I trust the people of Alabama.”

Bentley then made the transition to what he considers to be the “real” problem in Alabama, “putting people back to work.”   The Tuscaloosa dermatologist said he wants to expand industry. “I want to have real jobs, clean jobs,” he said.  “I’m not going to concentrate on the gambling issue.”

So how will he create new jobs in a state suffering with 10% unemployment?  “We’ll give tax breaks to industries and let them hire the people,” he said.  “That’s who creates jobs in Alabama.  We need to allow companies to create new jobs.”  Bentley referred to the Reemployment Act of 2010 which he sponsored in the Alabama Legislature.  The bill gives tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed Alabamians.  He says it can put “five or six thousand people back to work.”

On the broad subject of improving and funding education in the state, Bentley said, “This is a time where we can find deficiencies in government and see what needs to be continued and what does not.”  Bentley says the state needs to change its budgeting formula.  He said he favors a 15-year rolling average which “smooths out all the different ups and downs.” 

He believes something must be done to control health care costs for teachers.  “I love health saving accounts,” said Bentley. “Indiana and Michigan have tried that with teachers and saved $100-million.  We can do that in Alabama.”

He wants to “bring every unearmarked agency that we have in Alabama before the Education Appropriations Committee and make them justify their existence.”  He said, “If they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing they should be done away with.”

When asked about his connection with the Alabama Education Association and whether he thought his win in the primary was becasue of attack ads on Bradley Byrne, Bentley said, ” There was a personal battle between Bradley Byrne and the AEA, but that had nothing to do with my winning.  Our polling  shows that all the people, or almost all the people that voted for me would have voted for me regardless.”

Bentley faces Democrat Ron Sparks in the November General Election.

One Response to “Bentley: “I trust the people of Alabama””

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