- Cullman, Alabama

September 11, 2012

Vote ‘yes’ on Sept. 18

The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — “Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do.” This is a familiar saying that we have all heard. At this moment in time, the saying becomes, “Sometimes a state has to do what a state has to do.”

On Sept. 18, our governor and our legislature are asking us to approve Amendment I. Amendment I will grant the state permission to borrow 437 million dollars from the Alabama Trust Fund. The Alabama Trust Fund is a public fund that receives royalties from companies that are involved in the off-shore drilling for oil and natural gas. The Alabama Trust Fund currently has a balance of 2.3 billion dollars.

The 437 million dollars will be used for the next three fiscal years to provide funding to the State of Alabama’s General Fund. The state’s general fund is responsible for funding such vital services as Medicaid, the criminal justice system and the state’s court system. Since 2008, revenues to the general fund have decreased by 300 million dollars.

This will not be the first time the state has borrowed from the Alabama Trust Fund. In 2003, 179 million dollars were borrowed from the trust fund. Like the money being requested on Sept. 18, by Amendment I, all 179 million dollars have been repaid.

Indigent Alabamians need and deserve the healthcare services that Medicaid provides. Alabama inmates do not need to be released early due to funding shortages, and the Alabama Court System needs the financial resources to operate in a timely and appropriate manner.

Unfortunately at this time, the State of Alabama needs to again borrow money from itself. Money that will be repaid in full to the Alabama Trust Fund. Please vote YES on Sept. 18.

John Mullins