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For Immediate Release: February 2, 2016

RURAL CAUCUS CHAIRMAN PLEASED WITH GOVERNOR'S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Earlier this evening Governor Robert Bentley delivered his annual State of the
State Address to a joint session of the Alabama State Legislature. Following the governor’s remarks, Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden), Chairman of the House Rural Caucus, released the following statement.

“This evening, Governor Bentley made clear his intentions to address many issues which are of upmost
importance to the people of rural Alabama. As Chairman of the Rural Caucus, I have spoken with the
governor’s office about some of his plans and I am thankful to him for his leadership and his willingness to take a stand this evening for the hardworking men and women of the rural communities I have the pleasure to represent. Rural Alabama, in many ways, is a great example of the American dream, of folks working hard to raise their families, earn a decent living and to pass on a strong heritage and work ethic to the next generation. Without investment in rural areas, however, continuing that tradition will be nearly impossible.

“Through investment in the initiatives outlined tonight by the governor, we will only help to raise the appeal of the rural areas of our state which so many of our citizens call home. I applaud the governor for his call to increase Internet access in the most rural parts of our state. As the world’s economy continues to become more and more driven by ecommerce and as educational opportunities available via the Internet continue to grow, having reliable high-speed Internet in rural Alabama is essential. The quest to expand broadband access is our modern day equivalent to the expansion of electricity in decades gone by. Rural Alabama is a great place to raise children, maintain small family-owned businesses and to retire; I stand ready to help Governor Bentley make it an even better place by expanding access to the Internet to all corners of our state.

“The other proposals outlined by the governor such as building new prisons and updating many aspects of our state’s infrastructure will go a long way in providing jobs not just in big cities but in the small communities which dot Alabama’s landscape. I urge the governor to ensure that any such proposals, which do reach the legislature, will include funding for rural communities; if they do, he will have my support. Expanding healthcare opportunities in rural communities, too, will not only provide for a healthier Alabama, but will also bring financial resources into many of our smallest and economically struggling communities. Additionally, I thank the governor for his continued support for expanding Pre-K and I hope many of the dollars he is seeking to expand the program find their way to rural Alabama classrooms.

“Tonight, my friend, Governor Robert Bentley, charted a new course for Alabama. This course, not only
recognizes the needs of the largest population centers in our state, but also recognizes the needs of our most rural citizens. I look forward to receiving more specifics on the governor’s plans and I hope we can come to a consensus on legislation in the upcoming session that will move rural Alabama forward.”

Representative David Standridge has represented District 34 in the Alabama House of Representatives,
which includes parts of Blount and Marshall Counties, since a special election in 2012. He was re-elected in 2014, without opposition, to a full term in the House. Since 2015, he has served as Chairman of the House Rural Caucus. Representative Standridge, a former law enforcement officer and Blount County Probate Judge/Chairman of the Blount County Commission, is married to Danna, a retired teacher. The couple has three grown children and five grandchildren.  The Standridges live in Hayden, in rural Blount County. 


For More Information Contact: Representative David Standridge

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