Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced that she has appointed Tuscaloosa legislator Bill Poole to serve as Alabama's new finance director. Poole will leave his leadership position in the Alabama legislature to take the place of current Director Kelly Butler, who is stepping down to retire.

"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,” Governor Ivey said.

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Poole is currently a Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives. In his tenure with the House, he served eight years as the House Ways and Means education chairman,  the committee that oversees the $7.7 billion Education Trust Fund.

Additionally, Poole serves as the chairman of Innovate Alabama, a statewide commission designed to develop a long-term strategy to expand Alabama's economy.

“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," Ivey said.

Poole was praised for his prioritization of high-quality pre-K, increased literacy, broadband access, workforce development, and career technical training in a Friday press release. Under his leadership, those initiatives received increased appropriations to better prepare Alabama students for college and careers post-graduation from high school.

"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 said. "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."

"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," Poole said. "I am grateful to have Kelly’s full support going forward which will help ensure a smooth transition."

Poole's appointment is effective August 1.

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