$136,000 for signs?

Drivers who live in Alabama may not need to be reminded, but visitors might.

Those crossing into Alabama on an interstate highway will soon see signs reading, “Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama” and the state will be paying for the privilege.

The Alabama Deparatment of Transportation is paying $75,000 for the rights to use Lynyrd Skynyrd’s trademarked phrase which is held by Universal Records.  The state will also pay $61,000 to put up the signs.

Some may say, why is the state spending $136,000 on signs, when other state agencies like the Department of Forensic Sciences need money to clear a backlog of criminal cases?  It’s a case of financial apples and oranges.

The money for the Department of Transportation comes from one part of the Alabama state budget, while the money for the Department of Forensic Sciences comes from another. You can’t use money from one department to fund another.  It doesn’t work that way in business or in state government.

The Department of Transportation spends its allotted money in the best way it sees fit, led by a director appointed by the Governor. In this case, the money is used to encourage tourism which brings $11 billion into the state.

If you want state money spent in a different way, it’s up to you to contact the governor’s office or your local representative.

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