Jim Zeigler fighting to stop massive cuts to auditor’s office budget

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State Auditor Jim Zeigler says he is being unfairly targeted by budget cuts by Gov. Robert Bentley and legislative allies after speaking out against the governor’s tax and spending proposals – and this week, he is taking his fight to the statehouse in Montgomery.

Zeigler will testify before the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee meeting today at 1 p.m. Central in the Capitol building, where the panel is taking up HB 1, better known as the bill that will enact the state budget.

As of Monday morning, the budget proposal contained a whopping 60 percent cut to the office of the State Auditor, the statewide elected ombudsman position occupied by Zeigler since he took office earlier this year, taking over for term-limited Samantha Shaw, like Zeigler a Republican.

The 60 percent cut, Zeigler said in an announcement Monday, is by contrast to the mere 10 percent cuts faced by the offices of other statewide positions

In a social media post, Zeigler issued the following appeal:

Your help is needed quickly to stop the obliteration of the State Auditor’s office. You can contact members of the Senate Finance & Taxation Committee General Fund. Ask them to amend HB1 so that the State Auditor’s budget will be around $1 million instead of the $400,000 it now reads, which is a 60% cut.

This committee meets at 1 p.m. today (Mon, Sept 14). It will take up HB1, the general fund budget, which passed the House Friday. HB1 singled out the State Auditor’s office for about a 60% cut that would cripple essential auditing. Other agencies received cuts in the 10% range, which the auditor’s office could live with.

We ask for your help quickly in maintaining bare-bones funding for the State Auditor’s office. Amending HB1 to provide the State Auditor $1 million instead of $400,000 would still allow essential auditing and be a cut in line with other agencies.

Zeigler also pointed out his opposition to the removal of the Govs. George & Lurleen Wallace portraits from the capitol rotunda, the four-laning of historic North Eufaula Avenue, the closure of 15 state parks, the use of taxpayer funds in campaigns for tax increase referendums and the removal of Confederate items from the capitol museum gift shop in an appeal to supporters Monday.

The Senate F&T meeting will be held in room 727 in the statehouse in Montgomery.

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