By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Governor Robert Bentley and legislative leaders on Thursday announced the State of Alabama is on a path track to squeeze $1 billion dollars in annual savings from state budgets by reducing costs and increasing state government efficiency.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “A billion dollars may sound like an aggressive goal, and it is. But here’s why we’ll reach it: we’re already more than halfway there. In less than a year-and-a-half, we’ve already taken action to achieve well over half a billion dollars in annual savings. We’re working to identify even more savings, and we stand united with legislative leadership in reaching our goal of saving taxpayers a billion dollars a year.”
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) from Anniston said, “When it comes to cutting costs in state government, it’s easy to talk the talk. But these results show our progress and prove our commitment to an efficient, accountable state government that maximizes every tax dollar sent to Montgomery. Speaker Hubbard, Lieutenant Governor Ivey and I will continue working with Governor Bentley to identify and implement innovative solutions to cut costs and ensure taxpayers are getting the best possible return on their investment.”
Speaker of the Alabama House, Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said, “It is our constant duty to ensure state government is operating as efficiently as possible and that taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. We must examine every dime of state spending, set priorities and, like every Alabama business and family, make the government live within its means. I wish our mindset was shared by Washington. We’re tightening our belts while President Obama and tax-and-spend liberals have piled on trillions in debt. Alabamians can be proud of the conservative state leaders they’ve elected and the fiscally responsible course we are charting for this state.”
Lt. Governor Kay Ivey (R) from Camden said, “Under his leadership, Governor Bentley has moved state government in the right direction through his efforts to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Remarkably, he and the leadership of the Alabama Legislature are on track toward a billion dollars in savings for the hard-working taxpayers of Alabama. This is a result of the combined leadership of the Governor, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mike Hubbard. When it comes to cutting costs in state government, it’s easy to talk the talk. But these results show our progress and prove our commitment to an efficient and accountable government that maximizes every tax dollar. While cutting cost is important, it is essential that we continue our number one mission of creating jobs in Alabama. This is evident by announcements such as the Airbus facility soon to be built in Mobile, Alabama.”
Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead congratulated Bentley on his efforts to right size Alabama State Government, “Governor Bentley and the Republican legislative leadership made a commitment to the people of Alabama to streamline government and to be good stewards of the tax dollars that Alabamians send to Montgomery. The Governor’s announcement today of a plan to save the people of Alabama a billion dollars is a major step in the commitment of our Republican leaders to return Alabama to responsible, conservative governing after 136 years of out-of-control, democratic spending.”
Gov. Bentley concluded, “The bottom line is this: We made a promise to the voters to right-size Alabama government, and we’re living up to that promise,” Governor Bentley said. “During challenging financial times, taxpayers re-evaluate their own spending and make adjustments. State government must do the same. That’s the idea behind enacting these savings. Through the efforts of my office and the support of our legislative leadership, I’m proud to announce we can achieve a billion dollars in annual savings for the taxpayers of Alabama.”
Governor Bentley made downsizing state government, fighting tax increases, and bringing more jobs to Alabama the focus of his campaign when he was running for Governor in 2010. If the state can move out of this national economic funk state income taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes will grow as the economy of the state grows. Until then downsizing state government to meet fiscal reality has to be a priority if the Republican majority is serious about not raising taxes.