So far during the session, the Alabama Legislature has been traveling at a snail’s pace when it comes to the actual passage of bills. However, the legislative committees appear to have been hard at work. The real problems will come when the budgets come up for consideration. Most Alabama citizens don’t realize how serious the money crisis facing this legislative session really is. Funding for educational needs and for the operation of the agencies that live out of the general fund is going to be very difficult. Both budgets are in serious jeopardy. Politicians have been saying “no new taxes” for years and it’s catching up to those who are now having to face the music.
The current group will have to decide whether to drastically cut a number of deserving programs and the services they provide or increase the amount of revenues that fund the state budgets. If anybody really believes we can get through this session without new revenues, they haven’t kept up with what is going on in Montgomery. Even though Alabama hasn’t been hit as hard by the economic downturn affecting this country as some states, we can no longer take the band-aid approach to funding state budgets. Revenues are not coming in as projected and it appears the short fall will be significantly greater than expected. Eventually, our elected officials will have to get our house in order. As they say where I come from, “it’s time to fish or cut bait!”
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