Riley has big ideas for final year in office

Published 5:46 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

Gov. Bob Riley seemed to have good intentions during a teleconference on Thursday.

Now, we’ll just have to wait and see whether he’s serious about accomplishing anything noteworthy during his final year in office, a time when public officials can become complacent because there is no election looming and not enough time to fight lengthy battles with the Legislature.

Riley outlined three points of emphasis for his final year: the economy, education and ethics. Specifically, Riley wants to grow the economy, pass legislation that would allow charter schools and pass ethics reform.

That’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. While we would welcome improvements in any or all of these areas, Riley might have to prioritize.

One part of the teleconference stands out: Riley wants to raise the income tax threshold, at which residents begin to pay the tax, from $12,600 to $15,500 for a two-parent family of four.

The new figure still would mean people living below the poverty line would pay state income tax, but it’s a start.

Here’s hoping Riley can accomplish this goal, and his others, in his last go-round as governor.