Ideas in Action: Alabama Sen. Arthur Orr

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If you want to know what hard work is, try loading rail cars with bags of sand. That’s how Alabama State Sen. Arthur Orr learned about the value of hard work—and it’s a lesson he’s applied throughout his life, including as chairman of the Alabama Senate’s budget committee.

In a new video released by the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), Sen. Orr discusses the role of work in providing individual purpose and value to the community at large.

“When one has a job, and when one is contributing—and of course, being paid for it—I think it just contributes to the human existence in so many ways,” Sen. Orr says.

Sen. Orr’s support of work inspires his efforts to promote independence for able-bodied Alabamians and to protect government resources for those who truly cannot make it on their own: the truly needy.

Speaking about limited government resources, Sen. Orr says, “We can’t do all, perhaps, that we might want to do. And so, it’s important that we only support those needs—or those that truly are in need. And that’s where we get to the able-bodied issue when it comes to, say, Medicaid.”

Alabama is one of twenty states that have sought a waiver from the Trump administration to implement commonsense work requirements for able-bodied adults enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. Work requirements have a proven track record of helping move more able-bodied adults from welfare to self-sufficiency.

Policymakers across the nation can be inspired by Sen. Orr’s support of the transformational power of work. Good policy can both protect the truly needy and promote independence for the able-bodied—and his efforts are bringing Alabama policy closer and closer to reaching that goal.