State Sen. Barfoot on Ivey prison proposal: ‘Maybe I’m a little skeptical’ on financing, ‘In her legal right to proceed’
Although it is not currently a front-and-center issue, Gov. Kay Ivey’s prison lease proposal is still looming, especially as there are ongoing discussions about the new prisons’ proposed locations that include Bibb, Elmore and Escambia Counties.
Another issue that is among the discussion has been the financing for the new facilities, which the Ivey administration maintains can be accomplished without an increase of expenditures by the state of Alabama.
State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), whose district will be impacted by the proposal, says he has concerns about the financing. However, he acknowledged Ivey would be acting within her authority to proceed with the proposal.
“I’m just completing the second year of my first term,” he said. “In years past, the legislative body has tried to come up with a plan, has been unsuccessful. I can understand the Governor at the very least was wary or didn’t think that could happen. And I believe that she probably has the authority to go about it the way she is going about it. I do think that [the Alabama Department of Corrections] says the savings for these new prison builds will offset the projected $88 million-a-year for a 30-year lease. Maybe I’m a little skeptical. Call me what you wish, but I don’t know that that will happen. Let’s hope that it does. Let’s hope that it’s a net-zero effect to the general fund. But I have some concern about that.”
“You’re right about bonding because the rates are so, so low now over a 30-year period,” Barfoot continued. “And I’m not a construction expert. Listen, I’m a lawyer. But I have to believe that it would be a cost-savings to the state of Alabama if we bonded that amount out. Again, the Governor hasn’t taken that position. And I think she is, you know, in her legal right to proceed probably as she is.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.