They need help.
As if right on cue, Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, is turning to consultants from Auburn University Montgomery’s Center for Government and Public Affairs. Of course, those consultants don’t work for free. Marsh is paying them more than a quarter of a million dollars — $320,000 — to advise legislators on how to make state government more efficient.
If all we care about are results, then Marsh’s six-figure gamble could pan out — if the consultants’ advice spurs legislators to make changes in government that save money and, in effect, turn Montgomery into a tightly-running ship.
But that’s not all we care about.
That $320,000 price tag can’t be ignored. Marsh is to be commended for trimming a cool $1 million from his office’s budget; that said, the consultants will be paid out of those savings, he said.
Yet, at a time when state services are being cut, when state employees are being laid off, when the state’s public schools and universities are being squeezed to death, paying more than $300K for consulting work seems a tough sell.
Perhaps that’s why we’d expect Marsh and the Legislature’s other prominent Republican leaders to lead this march to efficiency themselves — without paying a hefty fee to academics. Isn’t that why Alabamians elected them in the first place?