From the Office of Rep. Joe Hubbard
Rep. Joe Hubbard (District 73, Montgomery) filed today the first bill with a legitimate plan to repay the $437 million taken from the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) on September 18th. The Restore Alabama’s Trust Act proposes a fiscally responsible six-year plan to pay the ATF back with interest, as opposed to the Republican plan to pay it back in over 15 years with no interest.
In the 2012 legislative session, Rep. Jay Love proposed the legislation that authorized the transfer of $437 million over three years to bail out the state’s General Fund. “It shocked me to learn that Jay Love filed a bill that merely authorizes the payback of the ATF in tiny increments with no interest and no guarantees,” said Hubbard. “Republicans love to talk about running government like a business, but no business in Alabama could get a loan on the terms Love has proposed. As a small business owner, I understand that this is the people’s money. We owe it to them to pay it back within a reasonable time, and it must be paid back with interest.” said Hubbard.
As a Constitutional Amendment, Hubbard’s legislation would require the legislature to pay $50 million annually to the ATF in the first two years following adoption, with $100 million to be paid annually in the following two years, and $150 million during the fifth year. The remaining interest on the original $437 million will be paid off in year six.
“My plan proposes payback terms that are both realistic and responsible,” said Hubbard. “Jay Love’s proposal just defers and delays the payback. He wants to take $437 million from the ATF this legislative quadrennium, while only paying back $5 million. That leaves a different legislature 15 years from now to figure out how to repay the fiscal irresponsibility of the current Republican leadership. I refuse to go along with their plan to place the financial burden on the next generation of Alabamians and ‘kick the can’ to a legislative body that convenes in the year 2025,” said Hubbard.
“It is our duty as legislators to see that the interest on the funds taken from the ATF is also repaid,” Hubbard said. “Any bank in Alabama would charge interest on money borrowed. If we don’t have a plan in place to repay interest as well, we are asking the people of this state to afford us a luxury that no lending institution would afford a borrower. That’s not business sense. It’s nonsense.”
“I challenge my fellow members of the legislature to vote to restore the people’s faith in their government by restoring Alabama’s Trust.”