Sessions: Road projects piling up too fast

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2003

One of the biggest problems with the completion of road projects in Alabama is that politician have promised the moon and delivered just a few pebbles.

During a trip to Marengo County on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions fielded numerous questions about the completion of transportation projects that could help bring industry to this area, and he said projects have taken too much of a political tone in the past.

While Sessions knows infrastructure improvements are a necessity for the Black Belt, he also admitted that his role in the federal government is limited when it comes to actual work.

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Sessions referred to Shelby’s ability to secure $3 million for a corridor study of extending Interstate 85 from Montgomery to Meridian, Miss.

Sessions, like Shelby, said state leaders and the Alabama Department of Transportation have to be the ones who make U.S. Highway 80 and Highway 43 a priority.

Meanwhile, Sessions took much of his time during his town hall meeting to discuss national matters that play a big part in the life of rural Alabamians.

Much of the senator’s desire to see the process changed comes from personal experience. A friend of Sessions’ owns the oldest nursing home in Alabama, located in Mobile.

The biggest problem with the reimbursements comes from a process that Sessions said makes little sense.

While Sessions said there was legislation that would be introduced to change the wage index, he gave few specifics on how it would be done. He also didn’t predict whether the legislation would pass.

Another issue relating to healthcare that concerns Sessions is the prescription drug costs.

Though Sessions said little about specific plans for curbing the prescription drug problems, he again said personal experiences have helped him realize how important the issue is to Alabamians.

Finally, Sessions said people in rural Alabama need to develop a new approach to retirement and personal savings.

Among the many benefits, Sessions said having more home owners would start a positive trend for families in the future.