It would be nice to just wish you “Happy New Year” but instead I am bringing to your attention actions that maybe taken during the 2016 Legislative Session that could have a negative impact on ETF monies.
Of course, we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future but we do know that attempts will be made to use education monies for General Fund needs.
We must be prepared and informed. If you are a part of your local unit’s advocacy network, please don’t miss our training January 19-21, 2016 (Area III Evergreen 1/19; Area II Montgomery 1/20 and Area I January 21).
Bill would unearmark $400M for General Fund
Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 12:15 am | Updated: 3:29 am, Wed Dec 30, 2015.
By Mary Sell Montgomery Bureau
MONTGOMERY — A bill that would move hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s General Fund by diverting it from multiple state agencies has been pre-filed in the Statehouse.
Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said Tuesday the bill would unearmark about $400 million in revenue.
“The fact of the matter is that you can’t earmark like we do and expect to have a good budgeting process,” said Ward, who is on the Senate’s General Fund budget committee.
He also said Alabama earmarks more of its revenue than any other state.
Ward said the bill is the same one proposed by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office and filed in a special session earlier this year. lt unearmarks some funds for the departments of Mental Health, Public Health, Human Resources, Veterans Affairs and Forestry.
In the special session, House members expanded the original $400 million figure to more than $500 million, but that legislation died in the Senate. Some were concerned it would hurt agencies’ ability to get federal match dollars.
“This does not mess with any match dollars,” Ward said about his bill. “It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not an ultimate fix.”