Legislature is wasting time with silly debates

By Staff
Scot Beard
Columnist
When faced with problems, people have many different options for dealing with the issue.
Some people stick their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away.
Other people look at the problem and do not quit until they find a solution.
A select few work on the problem briefly and when it becomes difficult put it aside and turn their attention elsewhere.
Members of the Alabama Legislature seem to fall into the last category.
Faced with the problem of low tax revenue because of the recession and the issues created by the shortage - mainly low funding for public schools - and the debate of legal vs. illegal bingo the people in Montgomery are considering legislation to change the state song from “Alabama” to “Stars Fell on Alabama.”
It is nice to see our tax dollars going to something most people collecting unemployment couldn’t care less about.
Yeah, it would be nice to have a state song that is not a total snooze-inducing ditty, but when the rest of the nation is making fun of us because nobody seems to know if bingo is legal in Alabama or not, there seems to be bigger issues to deal with.
My two nephews, ages 12 and 10, spend almost as much time on various fund raisers for their school as they do their homework.
Their school has at least one fund-raising effort each six-week period where administrators expect these kids to go door-to-door to sell cookie dough, popcorn or 1,000 other things most people don’t need or want at prices they can barely afford.
I have three problems with this.
How is a kid prepared for his or her future by spending time training to be a door-to-door salesperson - a profession that died out in the 1980s?
Do we not have child-labor laws to prevent this stuff from happening? Child-labor laws were developed to prevent adults from exploiting kids, yet that is what school administrators are forced to do because our elected officials cannot find a way to properly fund schools.
Finally, the world is getting crazier by the day.
What happens when little Susie get abducted while trying to sell chocolate-covered peanut clusters?
Who do you sue in civil litigation - the school would be a good start, but couldn’t the culpability also lie with the politicians in Montgomery?
It is time for the lawmakers of this state to step up and do their jobs by passing laws to help this state and finding ways to fund schools.
There are no easy solutions. There is not a fix that will make everybody happy.
Legalize gambling so money quits going to the Mississippi casinos and the lotteries in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.
Quit giving ridiculous tax breaks to corporations that are seeking to locate within the state. If they want to do business here, let them live up to their responsibilities as an employer in Alabama.
There are solutions out there somewhere and it is the responsibility of our elected officials to find them.
But who wants to work when they can waste time debating the merits of two songs that 99 percent of the state’s population probably doesn’t know a single word of the lyrics.

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