Governor's Plan: Overview and Accountability Reform - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Governor's Plan: Overview and Accountability Reform

This outline of the Governor's plan was provided by the Office of the Governor to Reporters, Educators, and Legislators.

Where We Are Now

  • Governor Riley has inherited a fiscal crisis unprecedented since the Depression
  • Previous administrations have refused to confront the problems of our state in a fundamental and comprehensive manner
  • We are facing a $675 million shortfall that will result in devastating cuts in essential state services
  • Governor Riley is committed to protecting our seniors, creating higher paying jobs, and making Alabama a leader in education

Governor Riley is Cutting Waste and Abuse

  • Governor Riley has already implemented reforms that save taxpayers over $230 million, including...

           — Executive order to ban all pass through pork

           — 5% reduction in state personnel costs

           — cut governor’s staff by 30%         

           — reformed state vehicle and state travel policy

           — freeze on merit raises for state employees

           — medicaid drug reform

 ...and he will continue to find ways to save money

  • Many of these savings cannot be realized immediately
  • Because of excessive earmarking, much of this needed money cannot be redirected to the proper funds
  • But the problems can’t be solved through cuts alone

Consequences of Doing Nothing

  •  Slash services by $675 million and compound Alabama’s current problems
  • 60 senior service centers would be closed, eliminating 800,000 meals for the elderly
  • Thousands of teachers would be laid off
  • 50,000 child support cases would be affected, causing a loss of $50,000,000 in annual child support payments
  • State Trooper routine patrol and response manpower would be reduced by 1/3

Governor Riley’s conditions for reform

  • Any tax proposal must also include significant accountability reforms  — “no accountability, no new taxes”
  • Any tax proposal must be fair to all Alabamians
  • Alabama's tax burden must remain equal to or below that of our sister southern states

Governor Riley's Plan

  • Comprehensive accountability and tax reform

        — mandates significant accountability reform

        — raises the necessary revenue to fundamentally change Alabama

  • Makes Alabama's tax system fair — reduces the unfair burden on Alabama’s poorest citizens
  • Ensures that tax dollars are spent responsibly and strong accountability measures are in place
  • Provides full funding for innovative programs such as college scholarships and the Alabama Reading Initiative

Accountability Reform: Overview

  • Un-Earmard all new tax revenue
  • Increase the contribution of teachers and state employees for health insurance
  • Prohibit all pass-through pork

Accountability Reform: Un-Earmarking

—  Establishes the Alabama Excellence Fund as a separate fund within the state treasury

—  Provides that all new tax revenue be deposited in the Alabama Ecellence Fund for targeted investment

Accountability Reform: Public Employee Health Insurance

—  Provides that state employees share in the cost of health insurance premiums —  Requires that employees meet the regional average for contributions
—  Provides that the changes be phased-in over time
—  Allows discounted rates for employees living below a family income equal to twice the federal poverty level
—  Reduces state contributions for employees who retire with less than 25 years of service

Accountability Reform: Pass Through Pork

  • Restores accountability to the appropriations process
  • Prohibits public funds from being passed secretly from one entity to another
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