MONTGOMERY — Alabama lawmakers said they will spend a little money in order to find ways to save a lot more down the road.
State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, plans to increase his office’s contract with Auburn University-Montgomery’s Center for Government and Public Affairs by about $185,000, to $605,523.
According to the center’s website, it helps governments “provide exceptional service by aligning their people, processes and systems with innovative thinking and effective strategies.”
The center offered Marsh a plan to consolidate public safety agencies that he said could save the state $260 million during a 10-year period.
Similar plans for other state government entities are in the works.
“Through this effort, we’ve already identified tens of millions in savings opportunities and expect that number to grow,” Marsh said.
The Legislative Contract Review Committee, which sees all the contracts state agencies enter into, supports the use of taxpayer money.
“The initial expenditure is justified because I strongly believe we are going to implement these measures,” state Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Daphne, said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Robert Bentley’s office is hiring a private attorney to represent him in a lawsuit regarding the state’s budget.
The outside attorney was sought because Bentley is being sued in both his public and individual capacities.
The contract is for up to $50,000, but less could be spent.
Former state Sen. John Rice in August filed a lawsuit in state court claiming that legislators violated the Alabama Constitution this year by passing a 2013 budget that was not balanced.
Bentley was one of the state officials named in the lawsuit.