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Ivey taps innovative state budget guru Bill Poole to serve as Finance Director

Gov. Kay Ivey has added even more talent to her roster of administration officials.

On Friday, Ivey announced that she has appointed Bill Poole to serve as Finance Director. Poole has previously served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives for nearly 10 years.

As Finance Director, Poole will serve as the chief financial officer for the state of Alabama and a member of the governor’s cabinet.

Ivey welcomed Poole in a statement from her office.

“Bill Poole is one of the most gifted public servants Alabama has seen in many years and his exceptional leadership qualities, and the respect he commands on both sides of the aisle in the Alabama Legislature, makes him uniquely qualified to serve as Alabama’s next finance director,” she said. “His detailed focus on education funding demonstrates a depth of knowledge in our state’s budget process that few can match and his passion for advancing good public policy gives him an added platform to help me and my administration continue to seek out new solutions to solving many of Alabama’s long-neglected challenges. I’m more than pleased he agreed, once-again, to serve our state in this new role, and I know he will do a bang-up job.”

As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for Education, Poole had been in charge of the $7.7 billion education budget for his chamber.

He is widely regarded as one of the most forward-thinking policymakers in the Yellowhammer State.

His efforts have helped sustain the state’s status as the top pre-k program in the country, and his approach to higher education and workforce training initiatives has set Alabama apart from other states.

He currently chairs the Alabama Innovation Commission, a statewide board whose mission is to foster entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.

Recognizing the need for critical infrastructure improvements, he was an early advocate for the expansion of high-speed internet access and the sponsor of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

“I am deeply thankful to Governor Kay Ivey for offering to me the opportunity to serve as finance director for the state of Alabama,” Poole remarked. “My service in the Alabama House of Representatives has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I extend my sincere thanks to the citizens of House District 63 and the entire Tuscaloosa community for electing and trusting me, and I have always worked hard to honor that trust and fulfill my responsibilities at the highest standard. I also extend my sincere thanks to my colleagues in the Alabama House of Representatives, and particularly my colleagues on the House Ways and Means Education Committee.”

He continued, “I am excited to accept this new role and embrace this new challenge, and I will continue to do my very best on behalf of the state of Alabama. As the governor and others have said, Kelly Butler set a high bar for dedicated service, integrity and transparency during his 30-plus years of public service. “I am grateful to have Kelly’s full support going forward which will help ensure a smooth transition.”

Earlier this year, Poole appeared in the top 10 of Yellowhammer’s Power and Influence 40 list. We had this to say about Poole:

It’s time the University of Alabama, his alma mater, cuts a new “Where Legends are Made” commercial that shows a highlight reel of Poole’s legislative accomplishments — although that would be impossible in a 30-second spot.

Yellowhammer’s recognition of Poole as one of the state’s most powerful and influential people culminated with his receiving the 2021 Yellowhammer Power of Service Award given each year to someone who has shown exemplary service to the state.

A special election will be held to fill Poole’s House seat in the Tuscaloosa area.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia