News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2007


Legislature should enact pass-through pork accountability

The Alabama Center for Quality and Productivity at Calhoun Community College was to be a boon for training workers when it began in the 1980s.

Legislators statewide later began using ACQP as a place to park pass-through pork funds until they wanted to use them.

Millions of dollars passed through the center and it eventually closed because of the political shenanigans taking place.

But legislators continue to hide pork from the public instead of asking for line item appropriations in the budget. Rep. Oliver Robinson, D-Birmingham, introduced legislation to stop legislators from placing money for pet projects in state agencies so they can use it later.

Gov. Riley, early in his administration, told his department heads to not participate in pass-through pork. Rep. Robinson apparently thinks somebody wasn't listening so he wants a monitoring system. The bill would create a legislative commission to review the governor's spending and would require the governor to give the commission five-day notice before he transferred funds appropriated for one department to another.

He hopes the change would make government more transparent, which is a good reason for the Legislature to pass the bill.

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