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Alabama legislative session ends

State lawmakers offer a recap of the 2014 legislative session.
State Representative Barry Moore (R-Dist.91) discusses the new businesses and jobs created during the 2014 session.
State Representative Barry Moore (R-Dist.91) discusses the new businesses and jobs created during the 2014 session.
State Representative Dexter Grimsley (D-Dist. 85) says lawmakers failed to address a number of issues affecting the state and local economies, as well as education.
State Representative Dexter Grimsley (D-Dist. 85) says lawmakers failed to address a number of issues affecting the state and local economies, as well as education.
This year's legislative session has come to an end, and legislators on both sides agree it was an uphill battle at times,

Welfare, taxes, education, abortion and marijuana were just a handful of issues debated by the state legislature.

"When we went in office, we went in to cut taxes and create jobs.  The motto of the governor and many of us was jobs, jobs, jobs.  As we moved though the session, we found out that we're the second business friendliest state in the nation," said State Representative Barry Moore (R-Dist. 91).

With new businesses like Airbus, Remington, and more than 2,000 new jobs, some legislators are please with the outcome of this session. 

"As we begin to embrace business, they're starting to embrace Alabama.  Ans so we're going to continue to work in that direction.  The first bill on the session was the one I carried, Small Business Tax Relief Act, to help some of the small companies."

Moore says much work is needed with the Affordable Healthcare Act, and he hopes some bills will address that in the next session.

But he says the Education Trust Fund is ready for the governor's signature.

"It's one of the best education trust funds I've seen since I've been there, considering the constraints that we're under,” said Moore.

"I'm very disappointed in this session of the legislature this year.  We really fought real hard as a minority party to try to address some issues that have been coming around for several years now,” State Representative Dexter Grimsley (D-Dist. 85) said.

Some legislators differ on how successful this session was.  Grimsley, along with others, is hoping for a different outcome on the education fund, because the current one does not give the teachers a pay raise. He says the session should not have ended until the governor had time to review the amendments made.

“Somehow, when it got to us, we failed the teachers in the State of Alabama, and I'm very upset that our leadership didn't push hard in order to agree with the governor and find ways to give the teachers pay raises,” said Grimsley.

Other challenges included the Accountability Act, which he says takes money from education.

"The ironic thing about the act that we passed is that it really does help a failing school.  It allows some students to leave those failing schools.  But once those students leave a failing school, that school remains a failing school,” said Grimsley.

He says the state needs to pass more job and economic bills going forward.

Legislators must now sit back and wait to see what Governor Robert Bentley does with the education budget.

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