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Dothan Eagle - "Smith, Baker Respond to State of State Address"

News Article

Location: Dothan, AL

State Sen. Harri Anne Smith (R, 29th District) and Rep. Locy Baker (D, 85th District) offered quick responses to Gov. Bob Riley's State of the State address Wednesday night.

The speech itself

Smith: "It was a good speech. I was content with his outline of this session and the things we need to get accomplished. I'm supportive of tax cuts for families and tax incentives for small businesses with healthcare costs."

Baker: "I thought the governor made good points, but there are some concerns."

Water issues

Smith: "I know the state has not had a long-term plan for water, and his speech was one of most innovative ways I've heard to get a long-range plan. It's a good initiative, and I was glad to hear it. I'm glad he's going to fight for our area with jobs in agriculture as well."

Baker: "We cannot afford any other state to dictate action as far as any water issue. I agree with him on that. Florida wanted to pass a deal limiting our water resources, and we cannot afford to do that. We can't afford other states to dictate our water rights, so I'm with the governor 200 percent on that."


Smith: "My only concern is that we haven't seen the legislation with the bills, and we need that to work to try and get these things to pass. He added some programs, expanded some programs, and I definitely want to see where the cuts are. I want to make sure we're keeping the agencies that are important to this area. It's important to continue to make sure Alabama is never at the bottom of the list anymore, and these programs, I believe, have helped with that."

Baker: "The main thing we need to look at is the budget. That's going to be the main thing. What are we going to do about medicaid, for instance? In order to protect our citizens, we need to fully fund medicaid, and I'm concerned with any cuts to the education trust fund. We've made too many strides in order to go backwards, so we cannot afford that. I do feel that later in year, the economy's going to pick up, and we're going to have to protect the well-being of our citizens."

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