Eventually the dam will break

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 17, 2017

During each legislative session, a big deal is made of the state’s ever-increasing problems–  and every session the lawmakers  focus their attention elsewhere.

Instead of kicking off the session by addressing pressing needs, the lawmakers’ kicked off the session with the passing of a ban on funding to “sanctuary campuses” that would harbor illegal immigrants, despite the fact that no Alabama university has made any move to do anything of the nature.

Supporting lawmakers said the move was needed as a preemptive measure, but the bill nonetheless deals with a hypothetical situation while real-world problems go unsolved.

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Troy University is considered by many to be Alabama’s “international university” and the university didn’t even come out against Trump’s controversial temporary immigration ban, much less bring the possibility of harboring illegal immigrants.

Even the impeachment investigation into Governor Robert Bentley, which is necessary, is becoming a distraction that gives lawmakers the chance to look like heroes while they’re failing to come up with solutions to fix the budget.

While the Legislature spends its time grandstanding, the house is not being kept properly.

It is the main job of the state government to make sure Alabama has its finances in order, much like the head of any household. But our government barely found a way to sustain Medicaid for another year last session and now faces the possibility of spending $800 million to fix the prison system or face the federal government possibly stepping in to force even more spending.

Last year the Legislature ultimately found a Band-Aid to delay the Medicaid problem for another year.

Perhaps this year lawmakers will wait until the last minute again and bring the lottery fix back up, which many have argued is yet another temporary fix.

Across the coast, California is dealing with a major spill at a dam that forced thousands to evacuate. One critic of the way the dam had been repaired over the past years said that the repair workers used a “patch and pray” technique instead of addressing cracks correctly.

That is exactly the problem our Legislature has right now. We are patching the problems, and just like in California, the dam is eventually going to burst.