Riley offers #8216;Plan 2010#039; for Alabama

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gov. Bob Riley has unveiled a new plan for his possible second term in office entitled &#8220Plan 2010.” Riley called it his &#8220ambitious agenda to keep Alabama moving forward,” which includes continued reforms in state government and the creation of an education system based on excellence.

&#8220I believe the people of Alabama should be able to look back at what I said four years ago about how we could build our state's economy,” Riley said in a phone interview with The Luverne Journal on Wednesday. &#8220Our economy is better now that it was four years ago.”

Riley said that his ‘Plan 2010' was more of a &#8220roadmap” on what the state can accomplish and where it can be four years from now.

Riley, the Republican incumbent, is seeking his second term in office.

Various polls have Riley with a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley.

&#8220Ten years from now, we want to be able to look back and be the state that others want to look like and be like,” he said.

When it comes to the subject of education, Riley said that he had a &#8220fundamental disagreement with Paul Hubbert and AEA.”

&#8220We started this year a program for school systems that meet all of their goals to receive bonuses,” he said.

In his &#8220Plan 2010,” Riley said that approximately $50 million would be given over the next four-year period to schools within the state that had met their goals.

&#8220Those teachers who are passionate about their job and who go out of their way to be the best should be compensated individually,” Riley said. &#8220I don't believe this philosophy where everyone makes the same amount of moneyŠWe should reward people for their hard work and for demanding excellence from themselves and from their students.”

&#8220It's very simple,” he added. &#8220You differentiate the payŠif a teacher exceeds goals and excellence in the classroom, then he or she deserves more pay. If you don't, you should make less money.”

Riley is also committed to giving working class families a tax cut.

&#8220Last year, we gave back only half of the tax cuts that I wanted to give,” he said. &#8220We can't afford not to give tax cuts, especially for our working families.”