University of North Alabama - Diorama Yearbook (Florence, AL)

 - Class of 2004

Page 12 of 248


University of North Alabama - Diorama Yearbook (Florence, AL) online yearbook collection, 2004 Edition, Page 12
Page 12

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Riley rallies I OT* Pi ^^ ^^^ -*- ^ m. #99 iin navinp- mnrp in tavps Hp tViPv ivniilH hp rViprlcpH pvprv 1 GOV. Bob Riley drew a near- capacity crowd to the Memorial Amphitheater on September 4 to gather support for his $1.2 billion tax-reform proposal. He told students and faculty about various aspects of his plan. Riley told the largely support- ive crowd what would happen if Amendment 1 failed: Alabama would continue using the same poli- cies and systems that have been used for the past several decades, and Alabama would continue to stay at or near the bottom of nation- al polls. " There is more reform in this one vote than in the last forty years in Alabama, " Riley said. " We have the chance to hold this state back, or you can move it forward. " Riley admitted that more than likely, if the amendment were to pass, most Alabamians would end WE SAY YES! Kilby stu- dents clutch balloons and pro-tax signs at the rally. up paying more in taxes. He informed the audience that for a person who owned a $100,00 house, there would be an increase of $128 extra per year over the current rate. If the house was worth $250,000, then it would be $500 more than the current tax bill. He specifically pointed out a group of outspoken people holding " Vote No " signs. " Don ' t believe the garbage the opposition is telling you, " he warned, and then asked if $500 more per year was too much to pay for education. Clifford Drouet, president of SGA, also spoke. He asked students to go vote, no matter which side of the issue they supported. One of Riley ' s stated goals for education is higher reading stan- dards for school children. 72,000 children started first grade in Alabama this year, he said, and under the new reading initiative. they would be checked every two months when they get into the fourth grade, and anyone falling behind would be required to stay after school for one hour with a reading coach. If the child continued to fall behind, he/she would have Saturday reading sessions at school and possibly even summer school sessions. Several young students from Kilby School were in attendance and many held signs supporting Amend- ment 1. President Robert Potts introduced Riley to the audience and made him an honorary member of the UNA foot- ball team. Potts proudly announced that Riley was the " Quarterback of our state. " Although the majority of crowd gathered at the rally was largely sup- portive of the tax plan, the tax plan suffered overwhelming defeat — 866,623 voting " no " and only 416,310 voting " yes. " — Chris Pelton

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