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Debate needed to fully develop Riley#039;s tax plan

Gov. Bob Riley's tax plan has been before the Legislature just more than a week, and the plan is being bandied around the Capitol.

That's a positive step for Alabama because legislators should debate the package and settle on a course of action.

We are hopeful that direction is into a bright future for our state. The alternative is to slide further into a dark abyss, and our state simply cannot visit such a place.

For too long, there has been no real discussion on state finances. Riley's plan opens that door, but it goes further - it offers a long-term solution to Alabama's funding woes, not a Band-Aid to stop the bleeding.

"Billion Dollar Bob" as he's being called in some circles has fielded the first pro-active funding plan in years, and it's up to the Legislature to adequately discuss and improve the governor's plan.

Once done, then it will be up to us - Alabama's voters - to decide whether to take the ownership of our state government, or allow it to continue faltering and limping along.

To fix our problems, we'll have to raise taxes. That's a certainty.

But together, we can save our state.