JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

HEP Article Endorses
Gov. Riley's Tax Reform Plan

President Bill Meehan is calling on JSU employees to review and support Gov. Bob Riley's tax plan. Please review the following information from the Higher Education Partnership (HEP). Below the HEP article you will find a list of our local legislative delegation members, their addresses and email addresses (where available). Please contact your legislators and let them know you support the governor's tax plan.

From: Gordon Stone
Executive Director, Higher Education Partnership
Tax Reform -- TAKE A STAND!

May 23, 2003 --Now that the Tax Reform Special Session of the Alabama Legislature has gained momentum, the package of bills is starting to take shape. With the legislature holding public hearings on many of the bills, members have heard comment. Different perspectives, ranging from avid support to zealous opposition, have been offered. This means that we have reached a point where it is important for the people who support tax reform to TAKE ACTION and contact our legislators. We need them to SUPPORT TAX REFORM, NOW!

The Higher Education Partnership, as the university advocacy organization, is happy to share a story that is favorable for the four-year schools. The Partnership staff, working with the university lobbyist led by Charlie Rowe, the Chair of the Council of University Governmental Affairs Representative, had a successful first week. Working as a team, the university voice was effective in negotiating a Senate amendment to the bill that had been introduced to keep Alabama's K-12 schools from having to layoff teachers over the summer. The university amendment clearly established that the preserving of the K-12 positions would not come at the expense of the universities.

Working aggressively behind the scenes to see that the bill was amended were many university lobbyists. Gary Smith, University of Alabama System, and Buddy Mitchell, Auburn University, were instrumental in making sure the amendment and sponsor were ready when needed. Further, Senator Tom Butler sponsored the amendment and was a strong leader in committee. Senator Jimmy Holley had been especially supportive in helping the Partnership research the issue. The amendment was adopted by a unanimous vote in committee.

Partnership members should take pride in a comment shared by a reporter shortly after the committee meeting. Te reporter shared an opinion that prior to the forming of the Higher Education Partnership no such higher education amendment would have been passed. Much of the credit for the universities' progress is due to the many people who make the combined voice a reality.

Gordon Stone, Executive Director of the Partnership, stated, "It is especially rewarding to see the university community recognized in this tax reform process. We appreciate the support from the governor's office concerning the amendment of the K-12 teacher bill. On April 30, I met with Governor Bob Riley and he clarified that he would not fund the K-12 teacher bill by cutting the universities. Now, the passage of this amendment allows the universities to see that Governor Riley was serious in his commitment."

Stone further said, "Governor Riley and the Campaign for Alabama staff have involved the Higher Education Partnership in multiple planning discussions. Bill O'Connor, Managing Director of Campaign for Alabama, has involved the Partnership in the pre-session planning and on-going special session discussions. With their active support for the state's universities, it is clear that the university voice in forming policy has become more and more important."

While this amendment is a good example of the impact of the universities in the tax reform process, everyone must realize that adding this amendment to the teacher bill was only one step. The bill and the many other bills still have additional steps to travel. Therefore, the Partnership and your university lobbyists will continue to monitor and provide leadership in this area.

It must be emphasized that a very important aspect of the special session is the fact that Governor Bob Riley has provided extraordinary leadership by bringing forth this package of bills. For many years, the Partnership has called for a governor to provide leadership in the area of tax reform. Governor Riley has certainly passed the test!

As the special session moves forward, we encourage every university employee, student, alumni and/or other leader to contact your legislators and remind them that Alabama must have additional revenue. Let them know, that without tax reform, the damage will be significant: university programs will be reduced, costs of a college education to students and their families will increase dramatically, universities will be unable to address critical technology needs, and other negative results will be felt. No one wants to hurt the citizens' ability to attain the best jobs. However, failing to implement tax reform will turn these fears into realities. Failing to pass tax reform will do serious damage to the state's ability to provide for its citizens. On the other hand, passing tax reform opens the door for a multitude of opportunities. We need our legislature to stand tall. We need them to help make tax reform a reality!

Contact your legislator and let them know that the time for tax reform is NOW!

To access your legislator go to:

http://www.legislature.state.al.us/house/representatives/houseroster_alpha.html http://www.legislature.state.al.us/senate/senators/senateroster_alpha.html

For additional information, contact Gordon Stone at 334-220-2161


Representative Blaine Galliher
174 South 26th Street
Gadsden, Alabama 35904
e-mail: blaine2@mindspring.com

Representative Jack Page
P.O. Box 8207
Gadsden, AL 35902
RES: 314 Haralson Avenue
Gadsden, Alabama 35901
e-mail: reppage@bellsouth.net

Representative Craig Ford
P. O. Box 8208
Gadsden, Alabama 35902
RES: 218 Alpine View
Gadsden, AL 35901

Representative Richard Lindsey
RES: 13750 County Road 22
Centre, AL 35960
14160 County Road 22
Centre, Alabama 35960

Representative Lee Fite
RES: 401 Aderholdt Mill Road
Jacksonville, AL 36265
P O Box 2650
Anniston, AL 36202

Representative Randy Wood
4422 Sprague Avenue
Anniston, AL 36206

Representative Barbara Boyd
RES: P. O. Box 2132
Anniston, Alabama 36202
2222 McDaniel Avenue
Anniston, AL 36202

Representative Steve Hurst
155 Quail Run Road
Munford, Alabama 36268

Senator Larry Means
RES: 331 Albert Rains Boulevard
Gadsden, Alabama 35901
P O Box 786
Attalla, AL 35954

Senator Del Marsh
RES: 546 Hillyer High Road
Anniston, AL 36207
P. O. Drawer 2365
Anniston, Alabama 36202

Senator Jim Preuitt
P. O. Box 796
Talladega, Alabama 35160

Senator Gerald Dial
P. O. Box 248
Lineville, Alabama 36266


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