MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Record high unemployment and state budgets shortfalls, the worse man-made environmental disaster of all time affecting our coastline, and the largest corruption investigation in the nation affecting our legislature, are just some of the critical issues facing the people we will elect to represent us for statewide office November 2.
Budget shortfalls include more than half a million dollars in federal stimulus money that will be going away in the budget built in the next legislative session and just under 200 million in Medicaid cuts in the fiscal budget set to begin October 1.
Nearly half of the babies delivered in Alabama and two-thirds of the cost for all nursing home beds here are paid for by Medicaid.
Some running for office will champion a public vote on gambling that will potentially lead to additional tax revenue.
Gaming in Macon and Greene Counties hasn't brought prosperity to those counties so the challenge ultimately is to create more high paying jobs. Do that and the uproar over potentially closing casinos will be dulled somewhat. Right now, those employed through gaming don't have alternative employment.
Our responsibility will be more important than ever the next three and a half months to make sure we challenge candidates to focus on how they will lead us through these critical issues.
Who we elect will determine whether Alabama moves forward into the upper echelon of states nationally, or tumbles back to days of old.