James' six point plan for the state budget

A candidate for governor unveils his plan to save taxpayers money.  Tim James' six point plan centers on saving the state's general fund budget which is already $600 million in the hole.

Here's his proposal:

  • State Worker Furloughs: Every state government operation will be subject to unpaid furlough days.  A one-day furlough with all state workers participating would yield a savings of $6 million.  Multiply that factor for real savings through worker furloughs.  This can be achieved without cutting jobs and laying off workers.
  • Indefinite State Hiring Freeze: Continue Governor Riley's freeze on hiring state personnel, except in cases where the state's public safety is involved, such as Department of Corrections guards, state police and emergency management agency workers.  Through attrition, the state can save millions of taxpayers dollars without cutting essential services.
  • State Inspector General: Pass legislation that creates the Office of Inspector General, an official appointed by the Governor with the authority to conduct independent audits and inspection of all state operations.  The goal is two-fold: assure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse.
  • Independent Audits: Immediately launch random audits of state departments and agencies.  No office, operation or politician will be immune from public scrutiny.  all audit results will be published on the state's website.
  • Eliminate Non-Essential Travel & Entertainment: Impose an immediate ban on non-essential out-of-state travel and entertainment for all state government officials and workers.  The only exception would be for economic development, law enforcement and emergency related travel.
  • Contract Evaluation: Conduct an immediate and independent review of existing and pending state contracts to determine compliance with state guidelines and whether additional savings can be realized by bringing professional services in-house.  These services include: legal, accounting, engineering's, architecture and computer technology.

"The discussion needs to be we're not relying on bailouts from the federal government.  We're going to settle it right here in Alabama.  We're going to do exactly what every family and business is doing and make the tough calls," says gubernatorial candidate Tim James.

Governor Bob Riley presented legislators with a general fund budget that cuts no money from this year's spending plan.  He is banking on another $1 billion in stimulus money from Washington.

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