Alabama State Treasurer speaks to PCRW

Published 3:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

Pike County Republican Women were in for a treat Wednesday as they hosted Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer for their May meeting.

Boozer spoke on what is required of the state treasurer’s office as well as ways he has made the office more efficient, saving the state approximately $1 million since taking office. Boozer said he ran his office on three basic principals: do right thing, do it the right way and do it right away.

“It’s real simple,” Boozer said. “It applies, really, to everything. My personal life, my business philosophy and to everything we do in the treasurer’s office.”

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Boozer said the treasure serves as the banker for the state. “We collect over $100 million a day in taxes and revenues from the state. We have 160 bank accounts throughout the state that are out there.”

Boozer also spoke on the state’s General Fund budget and said the state had already tried to balance the budget with a one-time bailout, but it wasn’t effective.

“We tried to balance the budget with one-time money, and the money that came out of the Alabama Trust Fund was that attempt. It was about $150 million for three years, and it didn’t work. Since I’ve been there, the general fund is $1.5 billion and that’s it … You’ve got to feed something else in there.”

Boozer said without a significant amount of things that could be cut from the General Fund, lawmakers are in the vetting process with proposed sources of revenue.

“You’ve seen all kinds of things being thrown out there,” Boozer said. “There are trial balloons going up with everything: lottery, full-gaming, cigarette taxes on and on and on. What’s happening right now is all this stuff is getting debated, and people are trying to figure out ‘What am I willing to go for?’ … How does it get sorted out, chosen and put in place? That’s what you’re seeing right now.”

Boozer said the process was going to be messy and choppy. “Right now, it looks like we are likely going to have a special session.”

Even though Boozer said he felt the budget decision may carry over to a special session, Alabamians shouldn’t be worried about the process. Instead, they should let concern drive them to be informed about the decision making process and options the legislature is considering.

“Obviously, it’s not going as smoothly as it usually does, which means that there are some issues that are being hammered out, but I think that’s healthy,” Boozer said. “I think it’s really healthy to get all of these things on the table, see what the options are and then make the proper choice.”

And, while some may feel like their voice or opinions are not being heard in the matter, Boozer said it was always a good idea to keep up with this issue on a daily basis and to inform their representatives of their opinions.

The PCRW also announced two of their “What the Constitution Means to Me” contest winners. The first place winner for the Troy City Schools and Pike Liberal Arts category was Drew Nelson, a fifth-grader from Pike Liberal Arts. The second place winner was Kaley LeCroy, a fifth-grader from Troy Elementary School. Nelson was awarded a $50 gift certificate from Troy Bank and Trust, LeCroy was awarded a $25 gift certificate from Troy Bank and Trust and both students will be featured with the Pike County Schools category on Troy Bank and Trust billboards.