Here#039;s hoping lawmakers get some common sense

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

While the required budgets were approved and a badly needed capital fund was created to aid in the construction of school facilities, little else of positive significance gained the blessings of both houses. And it's likely some self-serving interests were also hidden in the fine print of bills that did pass.

The good news, then, is the session is over, the damage done.

Now, let's hope legislators, facilitators, mediators or whomever can generate logic, common sense and a spirit designed to serve the people can rise to the occasion, start putting the broken pieces back together, cleaning up the mess and actually move the body as a whole forward.

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Maybe Gov. Bob Riley is the man to accomplish that. Maybe Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. Maybe House Speaker Seth Hammett. Maybe Sen. Wendell Mitchell. Maybe Rep. Charles Newton. Maybe it will take a coalition of statesmen yet to be identified, folks who perhaps have occupied a back row seat in recent weeks.

But the time to begin is immediately. Something significant must change or the hole will become even deeper.

It is likely too much to expect that the confidence of citizens can or will be restored in the process. Voters didn't expect much, but got even less. And the start of a quadrennial period that could have meant much was essentially wasted.

The effort at leadership, regardless of whether it has a Democratic or Republican base, is needed.

So the plea to legislators is relatively simple. Act like adults. Remember why you were elected. Put the state and its people first. Push aside selfish interests. Create a plan that capitalizes on our strengths. Address our weaknesses. Think long term. Make positive things happen. Get it right the first time.