Wed February 4, 2004
Riley Delivers State of the State
By Alabama Public Radio
Montgomery, AL – Governor Bob Riley delivered his State of the State address last night, where he called for greater government accountability, no new taxes and the expansion of the Alabama Reading Initiative.
Riley also said changes must be made to combat the fast rising cost of the benefits system for state employees, which he said would cost the state almost 700 million dollars next fiscal year. He also called for lawmakers to draw up state budgets that only fund core services.
The Governor called on lawmakers to convene a special session to consider his government accountability package, which he says will eliminate the need for new taxes.
Democrats were quick to deliver a response to the Governor's address.
Representative Ken Guin said Riley's plan to solve budget problems is not realistic. He said the Governor talked about making major budget cuts from state services, while at the same time promised to increase funding for the Alabama Reading Initiative.
Guin also said Democrats have already filed their own accountability package which they will support as they work on next year's budgets.