MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday appointed Republican Rep. Bill Poole as Alabama's next finance director.

The Tuscaloosa legislator will leave the seat he has held since 2010. He has served the last eight years as chairman of the House Ways and Means Education Committee, which writes the budget for public schools.

Poole will take the post in August after the retirement of current Finance Director Kelly Butler, who announced last month he's stepping down after a possible diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

In a statement announcing the appointment, Ivey called Poole a gifted public servant.

"His detailed focus on education funding demonstrates a depth of knowledge in our state's budget process that few can match and his passion for advancing good public policy gives him an added platform to help me and my administration continue to seek out new solutions to solving many of Alabama's long-neglected challenges," Ivey said. "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 state finance director is a member of the governor's cabinet. As the state's chief financial officer, the director advises the governor and legislators on money matters and oversees the Department of Finance.

With his legislative experience, Poole could be an asset to Ivey in budget negotiations with legislators. He had been a contender to become speaker of the House, but took himself out of the running.

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