By Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh and House Speaker Mike Hubbard
In the past, Alabamians unfortunately became accustomed to having promises made by politicians only to have them ignored later. But that was in the past. Now, with Republicans leading the Alabama Legislature, when we make a promise, we keep it.
Before voters went to the polls last Tuesday to approve a constitutional amendment to stabilize the state’s General Fund budget, we promised Alabamians that any money borrowed from the state’s trust fund would be paid back. Make no mistake – that is exactly what we are going to do.
The first bill passed next session will require the repayment of funds transferred to the General Fund from the Alabama Trust Fund.
More than half-a-million Alabamians went to the polls to exercise their right to vote and overwhelmingly approved the measure in a referendum election that many believed would result in low voter turnout.
Now, the Legislature and Governor Bentley have a short-term bridge to help us avoid a crash landing in the state’s General Fund budget. Many of the common-sense conservative budgeting practices and cost-cutting measures we have already put in place will now have time to take effect and produce results necessary to put Alabama back on the path to prosperity without raising taxes.
Keep in mind that Alabama’s deep fiscal problems weren’t created overnight and, quite frankly, can’t be solved in just two years of Republican control. But we have made significant progress and are definitely on the right track.
Thanks to efficiency measures implemented by Governor Bentley and the Legislature over the past two years, we are on track to save $1 billion a year in taxpayer money.
But we are not stopping there. No stone will be left unturned when it comes to maximizing every tax dollar that’s sent to Montgomery.
Unlike the out-of-control federal government that’s adding nearly $4 billion a day to our $16 trillion national debt, we believe state government should live within its means – without raising taxes on Alabama families and businesses. Next session, expect to see an aggressive push to pass a strong agenda of government reforms that will continue building the foundation for a more conservative, fiscally-responsible state government.
Combined with our efforts to create jobs and boost private-sector economic growth, a more efficient, well-managed state government will help ensure a stronger, brighter future in Alabama for generations to come.
We will ensure the short term funds made available by passage of the recent referendum are used to secure the long term stability of our state by enacting meaningful and fundamental government reforms. The trust and responsibility that Alabamians placed in our hands on Tuesday is something the Republican leadership of the Alabama Legislature takes very seriously.
Del Marsh represents Calhoun County, portions of St. Clair County and serves as President Pro Tempore of the Alabama Senate. You may reach Senator Marsh by phone at (334) 242-7877 or by e-mail at [email protected].
Mike Hubbard represents the Auburn-Opelika area and serves as Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. You may reach Speaker Hubbard by phone at (334) 242-7668 or by email at [email protected].