Montgomery, AL. – The Alabama House Democratic Caucus (AHDC) held its weekly Wednesday Press Conference on March 17, 2022, featuring Representatives Kenyatte Hassell (D-Montgomery), Kelvin Lawrence (D-Hayneville), Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville) and Barbara Boyd (D-Anniston).
Rep. Hassell began the Press Conference expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they continue to resist invading Russian forces. Then, Rep. Hassell described how the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan Act and the bipartisan infrastructure bill has financially benefited Alabama. Rep. Hassell noted, “It’s been highly ironic and very difficult to watch our Republican colleagues, who loudly opposed these historic measures, pose for pictures as they attempt to take credit for the very things they voted against.”
Next, Rep. Jackson explained that budgets are an expression of priorities and values, saying, “Alabama House Democrats will continue to help our state achieve its highest economic potential by advancing laws and policies that level the playing field and close the income inequality gap. It means having the courage to do things like ending the regressive tax on groceries which disproportionately hurts the poorest and most disadvantaged among us.”
Rep. Lawrence cautioned, “Of course, for the time being, our general fund budget appears to be healthy, but we must work to ensure that it stays that way. It’s time to evaluate our tax and fee structures, the way we levy property and use taxes, and we need to make tough decisions about how we promote corporate economic investment in our state. Let’s remember that we’re in a good place mostly because we got a huge “assist” from the federal government and that we still have a long way to go to ensure our system of generating state revenue is fair and equitable.”
In closing, Rep. Boyd focused on investing in public education and commented on Republican “school choice” bills. According to Rep. Boyd, “If we’re going to have a discussion about “school choice”, the only choice that makes sense to me is to properly fund all of our public schools. My choice is to make sure that teachers are paid what they deserve and that they don’t have to purchase classroom supplies for students out of their own pockets.” Rep. Boyd also stated, “Frankly, it’s time for Republicans to quit playing partisan politics with Alabama public education.
Throughout the Press Conference, the Representatives continued to advocate the Alabama House Democratic Caucus Legislative Agenda entitled, “Pro-Growth, Pro-Innovation, Pro-Alabama” which focuses on specific legislation to improve economic growth, affordable healthcare, education innovation, voting rights, and justice for all.
The AHDC March 16, 2022 Weekly Press Conference may be seen in its entirety by clicking the following YouTube link: https://youtu.be/l3CeuPAMQcA
The next AHDC Weekly Press Conference will be held March 31, 2022 and a press release with details for in-person or virtual attendance will be sent early next week.