FOLEY — State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) spoke Tuesday to the Common Sense Campaign at the Foley Public Library about top issues facing his constituents.
With the Foley Library making headlines in the past week over sexually explicit books in the children and teen sections, a member of the audience asked his stance on the issue.
"I don't think we need to be talking about sex at a public library," said Elliott. "I am tired of this incremental indoctrination."
Elliott related the argument to his call to defund the Alabama Department of Archives & History after it hosted a luncheon on Alabama's LGBTQ history. He said he believed libraries and the Department of Archives & History were inappropriate places to talk about sex and explicit topics, especially in front of children.
Earlier in the day, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth spoke at an event in Foley and said he would support lawmakers who wanted to stop libraries from offering explicit materials to children and teens.
Ainsworth and Elliott toured the Baldwin Preparatory Academy together to examine how the program teaches students trades while they're in high school. The school system partnered with local professionals and corporations to feed workforce development.
"I am really impressed with what the school system has done up there," Elliott said. "They're spending about $90 million on that facility, and it is absolutely turnkey ready to teach all of these trades."
Elliott said he was elated that Ainsworth realized the importance of Baldwin County to the state. He said Ainsworth's views on transportation funding could mean more state funding for the area. However, as for Gov. Kay Ivey's plan for West Alabama, he rejected her argument's idea and premise.
"The West Alabama Corridor is what I would call a legacy project for the governor," Elliott said. "The problem is, or one of the problems, it has a lot of problems, is the traffic counts are simply not there to justify it. It really is a feel-good project for a lot of folks.
"The fallacy of the governor's argument and my take is that if we build this road that economic development will follow it. Economic development does not follow roads. Economic development follows people. Workers. That's all there is to it."
Elliott said he would rather see money spent on needed projects such as the widening of Interstate 65.
"If you max out the state's credit card on the West Alabama Corridor, max out what you can borrow against, which is 50% of future gas tax revenue, you have nothing to match the federal dollars for 65," said Elliott. "President Trump was in Montgomery a couple of weeks ago and committed to widen 65 and the federal dollars associated with that. Well, wouldn't it be a shame if we had the opportunity for a 10% or 20% match and we simply said, 'We can't do it, we spent it all over here and we have zero state match to go with it."
Elliott also addressed the need for a Baldwin County Commission Chairman position, his call to defund the Alabama Department of Archives and History, state boards and commissions, school choice and health emergency protocols in the state.
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