October 25, 2007

State of Alabama
Press Release: Lt. Governor Folsom (2007-11)

Statement by Lt. Governor Jim Folsom Jr. Regarding Taking Care of the People’s Business

(Montgomery) The people of Alabama will be closely watching the upcoming session of
the Alabama Senate. Their increased interest is well warranted and they want – and
deserve - answers to some very important questions.

First and foremost, the people want to know if the issues that are important to them will
be dealt with in a professional and productive manner. Additionally, they want to know
if their needs and concerns will have to take a back seat to partisan infighting.
As the presiding officer of the Alabama Senate and the Lieutenant Governor of the State
of Alabama, I assure you that every Senator will be treated fairly under the operating
rules of the Senate and any attempt to repeat the embarrassing episodes of last year will
not be tolerated.

In the last session of the Senate, the highest legislative body of the State was in stalemate
for over 30 days. Important issues and legislation were never given the proper hearing
they deserved. This is unacceptable to the people and should be equally abhorrent to
those elected to serve in the body.

Real progress on the issues that matter most to this state requires the Senate to function in
an atmosphere of civility and bipartisanship. Accordingly I have found it to be especially
troubling that at least one senator has already begun to imply that rancor and disharmony
will continue in the coming session.

Promises of “more of the same” irresponsible behavior are uncalled for, unproductive,
and absolutely unacceptable.

Such comments are counterproductive to the function of the Senate and, most
importantly, to the will of the people we have been elected to serve. It is time for people
of good will to band together for the common good of this state and refuse to concede our
precious future to the defeatism of the discontented.

The results of the raucous discord of the last session have been well documented and I
want to commend Senators from both parties who have taken steps to open channels of
dialogue in an effort to stifle the continuation of meaningless strife.

These unification efforts have borne too much fruit for us to allow the lingering bitterness
of a few to stymie our progress. Turning back the clock to the destructive wrangling of
last year would be an absolute tragedy.

But I am optimistic that we will move past our differences because what unites us
continues to far outweigh our division.

We share the commonality of schools that need construction and repair - roads and
bridges that must be designed, constructed and maintained - industry that needs to be
recruited and serviced - property owners who are concerned about annual appraisals -
constituents who want to see meaningful ethics reform - and young people who are
starved for positive example from those elected to positions of responsible leadership.

So as we prepare for the work that remains before us, we should be mindful of the words
of George Bernard Shaw who said “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past,
but by the responsibility for our future.”

And it must be in that spirit of forward thought and optimism that we set about our
preparation to once again undertake the sacred trust of the people’s business in the
Alabama State Senate.

Contact:

Chip Hill 334.332.8225

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