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Chris Sells named to new fiscal responsibility committee

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon named Chris Sells, R-Greenville, a member of the newly-formed House Committee on Fiscal Responsibility.

McCutcheon said that the committee would “focus its full, laser-like attention on considering measures that streamline the budgeting and spending process.”

“It is tasked with giving taxpayers the maximum return on dollars they send to Montgomery,” McCutcheon said.

Sells is also a member of House Ways and Means General Fund and Small Business and Commerce committees.

Though a number of standing committees comprise the state legislature, including committees for transportation, education, county government and others, Sells said that the House Committee on Fiscal Responsibility would aim to fill in the gaps between the existing committees’ own expertise.

“As we seek room for improvement to the existing legislative structure, there’s really no committee to send certain bills to,” Sells said. “For instance, a bill that will streamline a process for Medicaid—who do you send that to?

“One of the other committees could address it, but maybe it’s not a better fit for them. So this committee aims to improve our efficiency in state government.”

The fiscal responsibility committee is one of the legislature’s latest plans in a concerted effort to curtail recurring budget issues.

The Joint Task Force on Budget Reform, created in 2016, was another such effort.  The task force was formed to study the budgeting process, the spending among the state’s various agencies and tax concerns.  According to McCutcheon, the fiscal responsibility committee will use the task force’s research to develop budgeting solutions.

Sells said that the issues he and his fellow House members would address affect the entire state rather than any particular county, but he said that his naming to the committee is still a net positive for Butler County.

“This committee is probably not going to directly affect Butler County,” Sells said.

“But as I move into more leadership positions within the state legislature, I gain that much more capacity to be a benefit to my district.”