First Gubernatorial Debate: Fiscal Responsibility II - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

First Gubernatorial Debate: Fiscal Responsibility II

Congressman Riley:

Governor, the state of Alabama takes in a little over $12 billion a year. Are you telling the people of Alabama that there is no waste in government? Are you saying that it is as efficient as it ever can be? And if you do think there's waste in this government, do you think it's 1%, 5%, 10%? Or are you telling the people of Alabama today there is no room for improvement in any department in the state of Alabama?

Governor Siegelman:

This administration has instituted the tightest physical constraints in this state's history. Starting about three months after I took office, we stopped automobile purchases, stopped new hires, stopped new promotions, stopped buying fax machines and copiers. We started saving money for a rainy day and thank goodness we did.

Obviously, there's always room to make some adjustments. But you can't squeeze any more out of education congressman. Our children need books. They need libraries and our teachers need money to continue to work in their classrooms. When children have to buy their own school supplies and go out and sell candy and magazine subscriptions, when teachers have to dig into their own pockets for school supplies and books for their own classroom, when there are systems that don't even have enough money, where kids have to share their textbooks during the day and can't take them home at night, how can you sit here and tell me that our schools have enough money?

Congressman Riley:

The only thing that I wanted to know from you Governor, do you think you can do better? Evidently you're not going to answer that question.

Governor Siegelman:

Absolutely, we all can do better congressman.

Congressman Riley:

1%, 3%, 5% - give me a number.

Governor Siegelman:

Well, we have worked extremely hard.

Congressman Riley:

I know you have worked hard. You've said three or four times today that you have worked hard.

Governor Siegelman:

A national survey said we managed our way through the recession better than any other state. USA Today said we were in the top seven states in the nation for economic growth. Automotive news says there is not an automotive manufacturer in the world that doesn't have Alabama at the top of its list.

Congressman Riley:

Governor, that's well and good, but unemployment since you have taken over is up 38%. Alabama is one of the few states in the nation..

Governor Siegelman:

That's because of your votes sending our jobs overseas.

Congressman Riley:

That is because in Alabama today median family income has dropped $3,000 since you took over and it has gone up almost $4,000 in ..

Moderator Lennox: Gentlemen our time is up and it's time for closing statements.

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