Editorial: Sticking to his word — Bentley adhering to certain policies that aren’t in state’s best interest
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Sep 28, 2013 | 2254 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Robert Bentley delivered good news Friday. The state will soon repay $260 million to its Rainy Day Fund that was depleted during the Great Recession.

That is indeed good news.

Bentley, whom the New York Times recently described as a “mild-mannered dermatologist,” is at least consistent. In all fairness, that may be one of his most admirable traits.

He has said he won’t accept a salary until unemployment is vastly improved.

He’s stuck to his word.

He has said he will work to streamline state government by reducing redundancy and trimming costs, even though reductions in state services — such as crime labs, social services and higher education — have come at a cost.

He’s stuck to his word.

He has said that he won’t expand Alabama’s Medicaid system, despite the fact that it would vastly improve the lives of thousands of Alabamians.

He has stuck to his word.

He has said he will resist implementation of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare, whose marketplaces go into effect Tuesday.

He has stuck to his word.

And, he has said the state would repay the Rainy Day Fund debts it incurred while trying to survive the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

As we saw Friday, he has stuck to his word.

Bentley is running for re-election, so continuity of his policies — particularly ones that smell pleasant to Alabama’s conservative voters — may serve him well as 2014 nears. Voters of neither major party appreciate politicians whose stances meander back and forth like the wind.

Nevertheless, that political consistency can’t hide the fact that the state the governor leads remains sorely in need of all sorts of improvements, not the least of which is economic development for all regions — not just the ones along Interstate 65. Reducing the size of government and repaying debt is hardly alone at the top of the governor’s list of duties.

A month ago, Bentley used his Twitter account to tout the state’s unemployment figures. In August, Alabama’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. “While we are encouraged to see another drop in our unemployment rate, we need to remember there is still a lot of work to be done,” the governor tweeted.

We’ll remind him that Calhoun County is solidly part of Alabama. The unemployment rate here in August was 7.6 percent, well above the state average and hardly the sunny optimism Bentley’s office likes to employ whenever new unemployment figures are released.

You know where you stand with Bentley, our small-government, debt-repaying governor. Too bad some of the policies he’s so adamant about are so harmful to our lovely state.
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