District 4 Alabama Senator Garlan Gudger told his fellow local Republicans Tuesday he’s valued their support in the aftermath of a new law he and other local legislators backed that’s drawn national attention for dramatically scaling back access to abortion services beyond six weeks of pregnancy.
“It’s been a blessing for me to go through adversity; to go through that and come out on the other side,” said Gudger, who praised his local supporters for standing on their principles — whether vehemently opposing his vote in favor of the recently-passed new Alabama gas tax; or coming to his defense against social media criticisms, personal threats, and even severed business relationships following his vote in favor of the abortion law.
“When we passed the gas tax, I heard from just about every one of you in this room,” he told a mixed crowd at Tuesday’s meeting of the local GOP’s Republican women’s group. “But when we got to abortion…y’all stood up for me. You didn’t stay silent. And what you did for my family, just by speaking up and not being silent and defending me, especially against attacks from outside our district — thank you.”
Gudger said he was able to vote for the the gas tax increase with a clear conscience, in part because he advocated for measures to buffer its effects from impoverished Alabama residents; and in part because it proffers a disproportionately great boost in infrastructure for relatively little taxpayer cost.
Relating an extreme example of a commuter who travels 100 miles per day (or 26,000 miles per year) to a job, Gudger said the new tax would cost such a driver $144 per year, or roughly $.40 each day. “Forty cents a day — that’s what this infrastructure tax costs,” he said. “…Unless you’re driving 26,000 miles a year, the majority of people are paying less than 40 cents a day to have better roads; better bridges.”