Update: I am voting NO on this; here are two posts on why I am voting no on Sept. 18th.
I found this great website today. The people from Keep Alabama Working are trying to encourage all Alabamians to vote YES on the September 18th amendment vote. The State of Alabama is in serious financial trouble. And the legislature passed an opportunity to allow voters to pass an amendment to shift $146 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to the General Fund. It’s too early to talk about this in detail right now but in-between Labor Day and the vote on Sept. 18th you can bet I will be talking about this vote and the reasons why we need to pass it. The consequences of not passing this amendment will be like a “uncontrolled train wreck” as some people in the state government have said. From the website are some of the problems Alabama could face if this vote fails.
- Many of our rural hospitals and nursing homes will be forced to close their doors, leaving tens of thousands of Alabamians without any access to quality healthcare.
- Many of our doctors will have no choice but to close or move out-of-state. Many rural hospitals will be forced to eliminate services and possibly close.
- Entire counties could be left without any health service facilities.
- We could cripple the state’s ability to compete when recruiting jobs to the state.
- Every Alabamian’s access to health care will be limited, and our overall quality of life will suffer.
- It will become nearly impossible to recruit industry to Alabama because all businesses want their employees to have access to quality health care.
- Prospective businesses are unlikely to locate in a county without access to health services.
- We could lose 11 percent of all jobs in the private health care sector causing unemployment to soar.
- Even if we eliminate every optional publicly funded health program we won’t come close to saving the money we need. This could bring horrific and long-lasting unintended consequences for the health care profile of the state.
- We will lose 1,185 corrections officers who work in our state prison system.
- 3 state prison facilities could close and 9,500 state prison inmates would be released.
- 133 workers in the Department of Human Resources would lose their jobs forcing hundreds of cases of child abuse and neglect to go without being investigated.
- Criminal trials throughout the state would be delayed for months or even years due
to reduced staffing in our courts and in the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences lab.
- The burden of funding local youth detention centers will be shifted to individual counties.
- Our food safety could be threatened. Budget cuts in FY 2012 already required layoffs of two-thirds of the Dept. of Agriculture’s investigative staff. Lack of inspection ability also harms local farmers when perishable agricultural products miss their shipping deadlines.
I know many people here in Alabama has this “no tax mantra” and they plan to vote NO on Sept. 18th. But you people who are planning to vote NO needs to wake up and smell the roses. Alabama needs proper funding to provide the basic services we need. Would you like to live with criminals roaming the streets, or seeing elderly patients living on the streets, or you having to go to another state for health care? It is extremely important we vote YES on Sept. 18th. And you can bet you will be hearing more about this on the news and on Geek Alabama soon!
- Alabama Medicaid facing ‘train wreck’ if Sept. 18 vote fails (al.com)
- Voters Will Decide on Deeper Cuts to Medicaid and More (wkrg.com)
- Alabama chief justice says ‘battle is not over’ in state financial crisis (al.com)