OUR VIEW: Riley’s double dipping proposal needs adoption

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 13, 2007

Gov. Bob Riley announced a proposal this week that would put a stop to officials receiving pay from the state as an elected official as well as pay from other government entities. The practice is known as double dipping and the governor along with Representative Micky Hammon and Senator Scott Beason are working to put a stop to this practice.

A release from Gov. Riley&8217;s office reported this week that almost one of every four Alabama legislators has both a paid job in the Legislature and in another position either in state government or in public education.

Because of this &8220;conflict of interest&8221; involved in elected officials receiving benefits from certain government entities, it is essential that this proposal be adopted.

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Hammon said in the release, &8220;Anytime a legislator draws two state salaries, that legislator essentially becomes a taxpayer-funded lobbyist for the agency that employs him or her.&8221; Hammons&8217; statements should be strongly considered and legislators should work together to eliminate possible outside influences such as these. It is essential for elected officials to remember their top priority should be the people who elected them and fulfilling their needs.