On April 27, our state was hit with numerous tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Tragically, these storms claimed the lives of over 200 Alabamians and injured hundreds more. Thousands of homes and businesses were devastated as these storms moved across our state. My heart aches for all those whose lives were affected by this tragedy, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Tragedy like this reminds us of how precious and fleeting life is. Our differences – political and otherwise – are insignificant in the face of disaster and devastation. We are all part of one community, one brotherhood. When our neighbor hurts, we all hurt. And we have a lot of neighbors who are suffering right now.
It is important for us as legislators to do what is necessary to help our state recover from this unspeakable tragedy. But we must set our political differences aside and work together in the spirit of cooperation.
One area where we have been unable to come together is over the state budgets. The Republicans are praising themselves for passing the budgets in record time. I do not think it is a record to be proud of. In light of the tragedies of April 27, we do not yet know what will be necessary to help people rebuild and recover. We need to find the funding to help rebuild our schools and other public facilities that were damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes. We need to help our fellow Alabamians get access to the basic necessities of life. We need to find ways to help local business rebuild and recover from this disaster. We must help Alabama recover.
One way we can help with the recovery is by bringing jobs to Alabama. I recently had the pleasure of announcing that SET Enterprises would build a steel processing center in Clarke County. This business will create up to 40 quality jobs for people in my district. We need to do more to create quality jobs in Alabama. We need to do more to help existing businesses thrive in Alabama. And we need to find ways to help those businesses damaged in the storms rebuild and recover.
To accomplish this, we need cooperation. We need to set aside election-year slogans and party agendas and get down to the business of helping Alabama recover. The people of this state are resilient and determined. Alabama will rebuild and recover from this disaster. Once again, my thoughts and prayers and will everyone who is suffering in the wake of this tragedy. May God bless you and all of Alabama.