Alabama is now facing proration in the state’s General Fund and that is something that no Governor wants to deal with. I am sure Gov. Bentley will agree with that assessment. His having to declare proration in the state’s general fund – amounting to a 10.6% cut in spending – will hurt the people of Alabama badly. As Capitol observers know, the Governor inherited a fiscal mess. It must be noted that this cut in funds is over the rest of the current fiscal year. As a result, the effect of the cuts will be much worse than the stated 10.6%. This is because the cuts will be spread over the last six and a half months of the 2012 fiscal year. That means the cuts will have a doubling impact – over 20% in reality and that’s a devastating and crippling blow.
Unfortunately, proration will likely lead to laying off state employees in large numbers. Remember we are talking about agencies including Medicaid, Human Resources, State Troopers, Mental Health, and Public Health. Which of these agencies would be considered unimportant insofar as the delivery of services to the people of Alabama is concerned?
While the cuts for the current fiscal year are certainly very bad and will hurt badly, next year’s General Fund budget will be a total disaster. Senator Arthur Orr, who heads up the General Fund budget committee in the Senate, observed: “This is a significant shock wave in a series of shock waves that are going to occur across state government today and in the months ahead.” Senator Orr is in a position to be fully aware of how bad things will be in the next fiscal year.
Next year’s General Fund revenues are projected to total about $1.36 billion. That is primarily because the windfalls that were plugged into this year’s budget won’t be available next year. The expected spending in this year’s General Fund was $1.92 billion before proration. After proration, it will total $1.73 billion and that assumes a $45.3 million supplemental appropriation for prisons if it is approved.
We are in deep trouble in Alabama from a fiscal perspective and are now paying for past sins in state government. I had hoped our political leaders would come to realize that additional revenues are badly needed in state government. But it appears that there will be no attempt to raise any additional funds. I fear that some will regret taking the “ostrich approach” when it comes to dealing with the financial affairs of state government. We simply can’t allow our state to be run any longer without some badly needed revenues. If the proposed cuts hurt as deeply as many project they will, the people of Alabama will demand that a different approach be taken to solving the state’s fiscal problems.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.