Our state is in crisis affecting every citizen. Governor Bentley has a solution.
He has studied the budget problem and found continuing sources of revenue to fund essential services. His budget will affect the least number of people without putting further hardship on those least able to pay. All agencies could continue vital services.
Neither the House nor the Senate has come up with a plan that will fund state agencies adequately.
According to AL.com, proposed solutions from the Legislature would mean:
A 5 percent cut for the Department of Human Resources would stop subsidized child care for 10,000 children, lay off 110 employees in child support payment enforcement and cut programs protecting children from abuse and neglect.
A 5 percent cut in Medicaid would lose federal funds, eliminate programs such as adult eye glasses and outpatient dialysis
If prisons lose 3 percent, two facilities would have to close, relocating 2,000 prisoners and resulting in 222 percent overcrowding. Federal intervention can be expected. No money would be available to implement Sen. Cam Ward’s prison reform bill.
Food service for the elderly and homebound would be curtailed.
Hospitals will close leaving counties with no health service.
Court system cuts would impact child support, divorces, criminal procedures, etc.
Some legislators are considering gambling as a solution to funding deficits. Gambling does not bring in expected revenue, has proven to be economically unsound in other states and additional money has to be spent on welfare programs.
What can you do? Contact you legislators and ask them to pass the governor’s budget as presented. The Senate switchboard is (334) 242-7600 and the House switchboard is (334) 242-7800.
It is time for the people to be heard. Budget discussion begins Tuesday, May 19. Please act now!