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School tax maintains education quality

Much has been written about the plight of public school funding in the State of Alabama, and so far the State has done very little to find appropriate solutions to the funding crisis.

The citizens of Butler County have an excellent opportunity next week to take a step in the right direction toward adequate school funding.

On May 1, there will be a special election to consider the continuation of the Butler County School Tax.

This is not a new tax.

It is one that has been collected to support education at the local level for many years.

This tax is not only important to maintain a quality local school system, but it is also a factor in the recruitment of new industry.

I feel certain the citizens of Butler County will take all these factors into consideration when they cast their vote next Tuesday.

It was my privilege to join State Representative Charles Newton earlier this week in presenting a check for $45,000 to the Butler County Commission for the purpose of acquiring property on which to construct a jail.

Charles and I are delighted to be of this assistance which should help toward the bottom line cost of this important project.

I was also pleased to present some funds to the Butler County/Greenville Library at the request of Burke McFerrin.

She and her staff do an outstanding job with the library, and I am delighted to support their programs with some of the state funds which I secure from time to time.

The Legislature began its final three weeks of the current session on Tuesday, and the primary focus this week is on the state budgets, both of which passed the House of Representatives, but are yet to be voted on by the Senate.

This past week the House of Representatives gave final passage to a Senate- passed bill involving theft of credit cards and other methods being used to steal money through using one's identity.

That bill now awaits the governor's

signature.

The governor summoned university presidents and other leaders in the higher education community to Montgomery this past week to present them with a proposal to attack the funding crisis in education.

The essence of the proposal was to float a bond issue for the ordinary expenses of higher education.

This was uniformly rejected by the presidents of the schools stating that "it is most unwise to borrow money for daily operations.

Borrowed money should be used for capital improvements which can generate revenue from which to repay the debt".

I tend to agree with higher education representatives on this matter.

I do not think you should ever go in debt where there is no opportunity to retire the debt from the use you are making of the bond money.

Until next time, please know that "I'll go with you or I'll go for you" to help you solve any problem related to state government.

You can reach me while the Legislature is in session at 334-242-7883 or by mail at 11 South Union Street, 735 Alabama State House, Montgomery, Alabama 36130.