By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn announced Tuesday that the Republican Super-Majority had selected Representative Bill Poole (R) from Tuscaloosa to fill one of the most powerful posts in the legislature. Poole has been named Chairman as the next chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Education Committee.
Rep. Poole said in a written statement, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Alabama in this capacity. I appreciate Speaker Hubbard’s leadership and am humbled by his confidence in me to handle this job. Chairman Love has left big shoes to fill, but I pledge to continue to develop responsible, common-sense budgets that fulfill the needs of our students and educators and are fair to the taxpayer.”
Speaker Hubbard said, “Ensuring a quality education for the students of Alabama is our top priority and I’m confident that under the leadership of Rep. Poole, Alabama teachers and students will continue to get the resources needed to continue to improve education in our state. In his time in the House, Bill has quickly earned the respect of his colleagues and proven that he has the skills and know-how required to make the tough decisions this position requires.”
Poole replaces Rep. Jay Love (R) from Montgomery who resigned his position in the Alabama House of Representatives to pursue a career lobbying for education options.
Chairman Love’s resignation will be effective on August 1. The Ways and Means Education Committee is charged with either accepting the Governor’s education budget or writing its own. Last year, Governor Bentley’s education budget was rejected by the Committee and Chairman Love formulated a new education budget. The education budget is almost $6 billion budget and provides the funding for K – 12 schools, community colleges, public universities and other education-related agencies.
The biggest issue facing Chairman Poole is how big of a raise will education employees get in the upcoming election year. Education employees asked for a 5% raise in 2012; but saw that plummet to just 2% after several years with no raise.