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New House committee to tackle waste

By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter

There’s a new House committee focused on cutting waste and streamlining the budgeting process.

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon announced the new committee, formally called the Committee on Fiscal Responsibility, at a press conference Tuesday. It will be chaired by Rep. Chris Pringle.

“Its task is to give taxpayers the maximum return on the dollars they send to Montgomery,” McCutcheon said. “(The committee) will search for waste and abuse and find ways to save money.”

Pringle said he thought of the committee’s task as a bit like searching the couch cushions for extra money.

“I told the Speaker that it reminded me of the old Clint Eastwood movie where instead of going to all the trouble of mining for gold in the mountain, they instead just search under the saloon for all of the gold coins that have fallen through the cracks in the floor boards,” Pringle joked. “That’s kind of what we’re doing.”

McCutcheon said the committee will work in conjunction with the budget reform committee, taking up legislation proposed by that special committee.

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The goal, of course, is to find enough revenue to fill projected massive shortfalls in the general fund budget, or to at least kick some dirt into the holes. But with shortfalls well exceeding projected revenues, and with additional costs – such as money to pay for prison reforms – adding up, McCutcheon admitted that “some new revenues” are likely.

What those revenues could be, McCutcheon didn’t say.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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