MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey has appointed state Rep. Bill Poole as the state’s next finance director, her office announced Friday.
The appointment is effective Aug. 1.
Last month, current Finance Director Kelly Butler announced his retirement due to medical complications that might be associated with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Poole has chaired the House Ways and Means Education Committee for the past six years, overseeing an education budget of more than $7 billion each year. Earlier this month, he announced he would run for speaker of the House before quickly withdrawing from the race a few days later.
“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,” Ivey said in a press release. “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.”
The finance director is among the top jobs in the governor’s cabinet, responsible for running the Department of Finance and crafting the governor’s annual budget proposals. The position is especially significant at the moment, with a possible prison construction project on the horizon as well as the state needing to appropriate more than $2 billion of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Poole was instrumental in the crafting and securing passage of the gas tax and infrastructure package known as Rebuild Alabama, which has appropriated $295 million to state highway projects. He was also the sponsor of the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act, which focused on making the state more attractive to tech-based companies and entrepreneurs.
“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. 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.”
“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,” Poole said. “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.”
A native of Marengo County, Poole was first elected to House District 63 in 2010. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law. Poole and his wife, Niccole, have three children.