Buried in lots of bad bills this legislative session are a few good ones.
One promising bill would combine the state’s 20 agencies — ranging from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to state troopers — that employ officers with the power to make arrests. Not only would it save money, it would improve training and consistency.
Another bill would consolidate the state’s information technology functions. Currently, each state agency purchases its own software, limiting its ability to communicate with other agencies. The bill proposes an overdue reform that will save taxpayer dollars while increasing governmental efficiency.
A plan to privatize the state’s liquor stores needs study, but has potential. Proponents say it could save the state $45 million a year. The downside is it gives the state less control over liquor sales, potentially increasing alcohol abuse. Whether it is the best direction for the state, it is a serious proposal that deserves consideration.
Alabama needs more revenue and these bills will not change that fact. It is encouraging, though, that the lack of revenue is pushing lawmakers to streamline government.
It’s also worth noting that state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, was involved in developing most of the good ideas coming from the Legislature this session. While many of his colleagues are grandstanding and pushing expensive bills designed to prompt litigation with the federal government, Orr is doing the hard work required for effective governance.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|