On Tuesday people in Alabama will go to the polls and vote on only one Issue. Should the state rewrite the state constitution to make special transfers of $145.8 million a year for three years from the Alabama Trust Fund to the state General Fund? This is the ballot language you will read when you go vote. This is scare tactics at its worst!
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to provide adequate funding for the State General Fund budget, to prevent the mass release of prisoners from Alabama prisons, and to protect critical health services to Alabama children, elderly, and mothers by transferring funds from the Alabama Trust Fund to the State General Fund beginning with the state’s 2012-2013 fiscal year and concluding with the state’s 2014-2015 fiscal year; to provide a new procedure for distributions made from the Alabama Trust Fund beginning 2012-2013 fiscal year; to create a County and Municipal Government Capital Improvement Trust Fund advisory committee; and to provide further for distributions made from the County and Municipal Government Capital Improvement Trust Fund. (Proposed by Act No. 2012-490)
The leaders in Montgomery in my opinion put the election on this date for one reason. Historically low turnout in elections like this results in the passage of an amendment. So the state leaders are banking on low turnout from the people who would be effected the most from the amendment not passing. I have found two great videos talking about this vote and why you should vote NO. The first video is from Quin Hillyer who is a National Award winning journalist. The second video shows two older ladies telling you why to vote NO.
This election is going to cost the state around $3 million which is a huge waste of taxpayer money. Plus there is no provision to re-pay the money that might be taken out of the oil and trust fund. The state cannot continue to run a state on an ideology of “no new taxes” and “small government.” The only reason why the leaders want you to vote yes is so they can say “re-elect us; we ran government efficiently and we did not raise your taxes.” The Alabama Forestry Association sent out a memo explaining why they do not support this amendment and ways the state can cut the budget.
I encourage all of you in Alabama to vote NO on September 18th. The citizens must send a clear message to our representatives that we will not tolerate cowardly actions meant to do no more than cover their collective rear-ends. We expect them to make the tough decisions necessary to comply with our constitution and balance our budget within the constraints of reality. If that means raising some taxes than so be it. The scare tactics like closing down rural hospitals and kicking seniors out of nursing homes will not happen. If it did the elected officials would face a riot and not be re-elected.
The state needs to make out-of-state corporations pay their fair share of taxes. The state also needs to make these large land owners pay their fair share of property taxes. These large interest groups that likes to keep taxes super low on the rich while the poor are taken to the cleaners needs to be banned from Montgomery. The state recently enacted a state law where some poor and disabled people will now have to pay property tax! These people might be homeless soon.
This vote on Tuesday September 18th is just making the Alabama Legislature look like cowards. If the amendment fails the governor most likely will call a special session to deal with the huge budget hole. Will they release thousands of prisoners, cut numerous jobs, and shut down businesses across Alabama. Or will the legislature do the right thing like raising taxes on large land owners and out-of-state corporations. Or will they cut out government waste like kickbacks for rich people and wasteful spending. Only time will tell.
By the way did you know that the state of Alabama owes the federal government around $170 million for tornado cleanup?
- Alabama voters could pave way for trust fund transfers (al.com)
- ‘Yes’ is the better choice on referendum (editorial) (al.com)
- Sunday Discussion: September 18th Vote (geekalabama.com)
- Vote ‘no’ in Alabama referendum and force tough budget choices, opponents urge (al.com)
- The Upcoming September 18th Vote (geekalabama.com)
- Alabama Governor Robert Bentley MD to voters: Trust me. I’ll pay it all back. (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com)
- VOTE NO: Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul (op-ed) (al.com)