The following is an editorial from WBRC FOX6 News General Manager Collin Gaston, which first aired on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2017.
The 2017 legislative session has begun and I am urging all lawmakers to buckle down and get their work done on time this year.
The session lasts from the beginning of February and goes through the second week in May.
With new House leadership at the helm in 2017, getting the job done on time must be a priority as the past two year’s lawmakers needed special sessions. Last year, a special session was needed to address Medicaid and a lottery. The year prior, two special sessions were added to pass the budget. All issues that could and should have been settled during the regular session.
Special sessions don’t come cheap, with costs estimated at more than $400,000 per special session. That’s your money! Do you see the irony in spending money we don’t have as a state for a special session to find solutions to fund important state programs that need money? Just think of all the agencies that made painful cuts that could have benefited from the costs associated and allocated to these unnecessary special sessions.
We, as the citizens of this state, elected our representatives to be our voice. But, we also expect them to be hard working, efficient and mindful of our taxpayer dollars and the calendar under which they work.
I am hoping this year they focus on what we elected them to do: Compromise when necessary, work together to make this state better, make tough decisions and oh, get the important work of the people done on time.
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