By the time this issue is received the Alabama Legislature will have less than ten legislative days left in the Regular Session. Obviously, there is a great deal of work to be done with a relatively short time to do what needs to be done. There are some tough issues left to be dealt with. As you probably know, the state budgets were saved from fiscal disaster because of the stimulus money received from the federal government. Without that money state services and public education at every level would have been in jeopardy and the state in a real “fiscal mess.” It would have been absolutely impossible to pass budgets without severe cuts in essential services if there had been no stimulus funds. Nobody can dispute the fact that the stimulus money saved the day for Alabama citizens.
Eventually a Governor and Legislature, acting in concert, in a bipartisan manner, will have to deal with the fiscal problems that have been virtually ignored to a very large degree over the past 25 years. For years, we have seen budgets passed with patches and short-term fixes, but with no real permanent fixes. The next Governor will have his or her hands full and will have to make some tough decisions at a very early date in 2011.
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