But what about the rest of Gov.-elect Robert Bentley’s promises? He also promised to:
- teach conversational Spanish to police officers,
- create a quarter-million new jobs,
- change the way the lieutenant governor is elected, and
- allow patients to carry their medical records around on a thumb-drive.
BamaFactCheck.com spent some time combing through the promises Alabama’s future governor made before the election. We brushed past the vague generalities and picked out the promises that commit Bentley to some form of concrete action. From time to time throughout his term, we’ll check in on Bentley to see how many of these he has implemented.
A reminder: This is not advocacy that these promises to be fulfilled; this is an exercise in keeping track of what the politicians say, and what they actually do.
The following list doesn’t take in every promise Bentley made, and we reserve the right to add to this list as more promises are made, and broken. We’ll also provide similar lists of promises from other politicians, so check in with us at www.bamafactcheck.com in coming days to find out what promises the other newly-elected officials have made.
Robert Bentley’s promises:
ECONOMY AND JOBS
- Install small-business advocate.
“I will create a cabinet-level Director of Small Business to encourage the creation and expansion of small business in Alabama.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
“As Governor, I will create an office to encourage and oversee the creation and expansion of small business in our state.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Create 250,000 new jobs
“My goal as Governor is to stimulate the creation of 250,000 new jobs in Alabama.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Equity in economic development incentives
“I will ensure that those businesses which have invested in Alabama for many years will receive benefits similar to those we provide industries we attract to our state.”(Source:www.robertbentley.com)
- No salary
- “I will not accept a salary until Alabama reaches full employment.” (Note: in an interview with The Anniston Star, Bentley said he defined “full employment” as 5.2 percent unemployment, a typical pre-2008 employment rate.) (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- $1 back from federal government for every $1 sent to D.C.
“I will also coordinate the State’s efforts with those of our Congressional delegation, as appropriate, to ensure that Alabama receives at least $1 back from the federal government for every dollar that our citizens pay in taxes of all kinds.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com )
- State incentives for business expansion
“As Governor, I plan to support incentives for new and existing businesses which expand or re-hire employees, in addition to broadening the business tax base through recruiting new businesses to the state.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
THE POLITICAL PROCESS
- Governor and lieutenant governor on the same ticket.
“As Governor, I will propose an amendment to the Alabama State Constitution that requires the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to run for office on a single ticket, similar to the election process for the President and Vice President.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com )
- Pay raises for police officers.
“I will propose budgets that increase the salaries of those on the front lines, in order to attract the most qualified individuals to join law enforcement.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Spanish-language training for cops.
“I will expand public safety officer training to include knowledge of immigration laws and conversational Spanish to reduce incentives for immigrants to come to Alabama illegally.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com )
- Increase competition among health insurers
“As Governor, I will always encourage the creation of state health insurance exchanges to foster competition and lower cost. Special emphasis will be given to companies that will write high deductible insurance policies at a reasonable cost to link-up with health savings accounts.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Cap medical malpractice lawsuits
“Establishing a cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages would end the practice of ordering unnecessary, expensive tests simply to avoid lawsuits. It would also significantly reduce the role of trial lawyers in our medical system.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Full tax reduction for uninsured
“Unemployed individuals and those who work for small businesses that do not provide health benefits should be allowed the same 100% tax deduction for health insurance costs that corporations receive.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Portable patient medical records.
“Each Alabamian should be allowed to own their personal medical records in an electronic format. This will allow patients to keep their records on a portable keychain-sized flash drive to bring with them to any doctor they visit.” Source: www.robertbentley2010.com )
- Explore charter schools and vouchers.
“As Governor, I would consider a pilot program for limited incorporation of vouchers and charter schools.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Performance-based compensation for school employees.
“As Governor, I will work to implement school-wide, performance-based incentives for faculty and staff where schools are meeting and exceeding high standards of learning. From the janitor to the principal, an entire school must pull-together and compete for excellence.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Full funding for Pre-K.
“I will work to ensure that classroom sizes are manageable, propose new after school tutoring initiatives and fine arts education, and fully fund K-12 and Pre-K education.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Resist federal education funds with strings.
In reference to the federal Race to the Top program: “I will continue to oppose accepting any federal funds which require Alabama to change its laws and make us responsible for funding new programs when the federal money runs out.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Form commission to better manage base-closing process.
“As Governor, I will form a statewide commission comprised of elected officials at all levels of government, as well as business, military, and community leaders to address current and long-term needs for infrastructure and community development near existing and expanding military installations. This commission will consider take BRAC growth, defense related non-BRAC growth, and future community growth when evaluating the individual circumstances.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Create panel to introduce efficiencies at state DOT.
“Additionally, I will modernize the Alabama Department of Transportation based on recommendations from a bipartisan panel of experts. These experts will be chosen to thoroughly and independently evaluate the performance of the major modalities within Alabama. This panel’s recommendations will include suggestions for both the short-term and long-term goals of utilizing various methods of transportation.
“The panel will include citizens and community leaders from each geographic region of the state to assist in preparing certain areas for new industry as well as planning for the future industrial and population growth of Alabama. The many advantages of such an evaluation include promoting the economic benefits of increased productivity due to reduced congestion for Alabama’s workers.
“For example, my staff and I will evaluate the options to implement the two four-lane north-to-south corridors, one for both East and West Alabama. My administration will also look to complete an I-10 Corridor connector for Southeastern Alabama.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Create north-south highway along western edge of state.
“I will work with the legislature to create a Western Corridor from Mobile to the Tri-Cities.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Offer contractors incentives for efficient work.
“As Governor, the Department of Transportation will provide performance-based incentives for those contractors who keep Alabama moving in times of infrastructure reconstruction and redevelopment. I will demand short-term goals that produce long term results, accountability and benchmarks for state contractors.” (Source: “Putting Alabamians Back to Work,” Bentley campaign document, Dec. 7, 2009)
- Limited exceptions on abortion ban.
“I will ensure that abortion in Alabama is limited only to cases in which the mother's life is in danger. I will oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion. As Governor, I will protect young girls from exploitation and statutory rape by requiring parental notification before a minor may obtain an abortion.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- A vote on gambling.
“I believe the people of Alabama need to decide at the ballot box on a YES or NO vote whether to allow gambling or abolish all forms of gambling.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- No bail for illegal immigrants.
“I will seek a legal presumption that all illegal aliens are flight risks for bail purposes.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- State agencies/contractors must check residency status of employees/customers.
“I will require all governmental agencies to participate in E-Verify.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
“I will require state contractors to participate in E- Verify in order to qualify for state contracts.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Punish hiring of undocumented workers.
“I will fine businesses that knowingly employ illegal aliens.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Bolster laws against ID theft and voter fraud.
“I will seek to enact state-level crimes against identity theft and voter fraud.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Require local law enforcers/state officials to enforce federal citizenship laws.
“I will train law enforcement officials on immigration laws and ensure state officials turn over all illegal aliens arrested in Alabama to the federal government.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
ETHICS AND TRANSPARENCY
- Ban no-bid state contracts.
“I will eliminate the practice of awarding no bid contracts to ensure that only the most qualified and competitive firms receive state contracts.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Refuse gifts/benefits.
“I will never take any gift for being Governor, and no member of my family will benefit from my election to the office of Governor of Alabama.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Transparency in political giving from parties.
“I will push legislation to make all political party funds transparent, whether it comes through party-affiliated foundations or donations to the parties themselves.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Online fiscal database.
“I will require online reporting of all state spending and revenues.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- Improve Ethics Commission’s website.
“I will also require the Alabama Ethics Commission to redesign its website to be more user-friendly for citizens so they can obtain the information they need.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
- More accountability from higher education.
“I will demand that Alabama's public colleges and universities put their spending priorities in order and ensure that funding for, and spending by, Alabama's public colleges and universities will be completely transparent and made available to the public via the Internet.” (Source: www.robertbentley2010.com)
Keep checking in with www.bamafactcheck.com, or become our fan on Facebook or follower on Twitter, for more compilations of the candidates’ promises.