Rep. Anthony Daniels talks about much needed reforms

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Huntsville Ala. (WHNT)-  It is District 53’s first year as a district of Huntsville and former teacher, Rep. Anthony Daniels (D) is proud to be its’ first Representative.  District 53 is comprised of the area west of the Parkway,  Martin Rd south to north Kelly Cemetery Rd.

Rep. Daniels took the time to stop in at WHNT News 19 this week and discussed his opinions of the issues that face the city of Huntsville.  He feels that, “Education is one of the number one priorities, but also revenue.  Governor Bentley indicated that we are going to have to generate more revenue or we are going to face some very tough times in the next cycle of needing to make some cuts in some areas and everyone needs to tighten the belt around the state.  Revenue generation is one of the things that I think is on everyone’s minds.  How are we going to pay for, how are we going to maintain the quality of life that we have currently, how we are going to be able to create more jobs for the state of Alabama, and for our delegation, North Alabama.”

Another topic on everyone’s mind is the status of the General fund, which controls the prison system.  In order for the National Government to not take over this system in the near future, there has to be some reform.  Alabama’s prisons are over populated and underfunded.  There has been some talk of sentencing reform so that some people who are in prison for certain drug crimes now, will be released and others wouldn’t go to prison to help with the over population problem.

When asked about this, Rep. Daniels said, “One of the things that we must look at in the details of that is how do we deal with the records of those individuals that have been incarcerated.  Often times it is very difficult for someone who has a felony on their record to gain employment  and so we have to look at it holistically.  We just can’t think that sentencing reform is a win.  It’s certainly a small victory but let’s look down the road at how do we prevent these things from happening in the future.  How do we put those individuals that may have been convicted of drug crimes, after sentencing reform becomes retroactive, how do we give them a shot at life again, a second chance if you will.  How do we help them in their venture to gain employment?”

As a veteran teacher,  Rep Daniels has some strong opinions on our state education system.  He stated that, “There are things that we have been doing for a number of years that have not been very successful.  So what we have to do is figure out ways to do it, creative ways, more effective ways to do it with less money.  The money that is spent on our schools in various districts, we need to speak with the administration of those districts to figure out ways to tighten the belt if it comes down to where we are not able to operate with the same money.  There is less now in the pot than there was several years ago.  Then we have to also look at ways to bring in more revenue to go towards education.”

Watch the full four part interview here: