About Governor Bentley
Governor Robert Bentley is committed to creating jobs for the people of Alabama. In 2010, he was elected the 53rd Governor of the State of Alabama on his promise to put Alabamians back to work. Governor Bentley promised the people of Alabama he would not accept a salary until the State reached full employment (5.2% unemployment). To date, Governor Bentley has never accepted a salary as Governor. Although, given the reduction in unemployment Alabama has seen over the past two years, he is getting closer to receiving a paycheck.
Upon taking office, Governor Bentley made the creation of new jobs a top priority in his Administration by instructing his Cabinet and State Agencies to join him in his effort to lower the unemployment rate and grow the state’s economy. Executive Order 2 was signed by Governor Bentley on his first day in office, instructing all State agencies, departments and commissions to include job creation as a priority in their service to the State.
Governor Bentley surpassed his goal of creating more than 10,000 new jobs for Alabamians in his first year in office. As a result of his efforts and his leadership, more than 17,200 new, future jobs were announced by the end of 2011. In 2012, companies in Alabama announced 20,847 new jobs, bringing the total number of jobs added to more than 38,000 in the first two years of the Administration.
Alabama saw its unemployment rate drop significantly during Governor Bentley’s first two years in office. The unemployment rate for Alabama dropped from 9.3% in January 2011 to 6.9% in January 2013. Alabama’s current unemployment rate as of July 2013 is 6.3%.
On Governor Bentley’s 100th day in office, Alabama experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. More than 250 Alabamians were killed as 62 powerful tornadoes destroyed two-thirds of the state on April 27, 2011. Governor Bentley was praised for his great leadership, strength and stability in the aftermath of the storms. He personally visited each community in the storms’ paths and lead local governments to expedite the massive cleanup effort. Governor Bentley established the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund to fund unmet needs of individuals. His Administration is now engaged in a massive long-term recovery and the greatest reconstruction effort in the state since the Civil War.
Keeping true to his mission of job creation and retention, Governor Bentley drove efforts to keep the Wrangler Distribution plant in Hackleburg, a small town in northwest Alabama which was wiped out by an E-F5 tornado during the April 27 outbreak. Governor Bentley convinced Wrangler, the town’s largest employer, to rebuild the company’s plant, serving as a cornerstone in the rebirth of the Marion County town.
During his time in office, Governor Bentley has led legislative efforts to increase incentives for new businesses and industries, to protect consumers by controlling the rising cost of homeowners insurance in the state, to reform the state’s pension system, and to streamline government services and reduce spending. Governor Bentley is committed to saving taxpayers one billion dollars over the next four years by right-sizing Alabama’s government. Governor Bentley also signed Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration law in 2011, fulfilling his promise to the people of Alabama to take a stand against the federal government’s unwillingness to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
Prior to becoming Governor, Dr. Bentley served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives. He represented House District 63 in Tuscaloosa. He was born and raised in Shelby County and graduated from The University of Alabama School of Medicine. He was commissioned Captain in the United States Air Force. Upon completion of his military service, he completed his residency in Dermatology at UAB.
Dr. Bentley moved to Tuscaloosa in 1974 and established his own dermatology practice. Under his leadership, Alabama Dermatology Associates grew to become one of the largest dermatology practices in the Southeast.
Governor Bentley currently chairs the Appalachian Regional Commission and co-chairs the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse through the National Governor’s Association. He is also a member of NGA’s Economic Development and Commerce Commission. Governor Bentley is the incoming Chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
Governor Bentley and his wife of 48 years, Dianne, have four sons and seven granddaughters.