Editorial: Somber State of the State

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Just before the state of the state address last year we editorialized cuts were needed and new revenue streams developed to pass a balanced budget.

The former governor then delivered a speech saying all was well with the revenue picture.

It wasn't as the new governor determined quickly.  He ordered 165 million dollars cut from the current education budget and 110 million cut from the current general fund budget to get them in balance.

He is now proposing cutting 217 line items from the General Fund budget for next year, including 185 earmarks and 32 commissions and boards.  He rightfully says we can't continue to spend millions of dollars we don't have.

The governor deserves accolades for being forthright with us but we encourage him and our legislators to take a careful look at how final budgets are set.

Some of the priorities set forth for the education budget make sense: no teacher cuts, protecting the initiatives that are working well and giving more flexibility to local school boards.

Some of the priorities in the general fund budgets – protecting Medicaid and the military and maintaining ethics and corrections also make sense.

But cutting tourism funding nearly in half will compromise a ten billion dollar revenue stream, a huge revenue generator for our state.

Keeping and creating jobs will alleviate some of the budget strain.

Legislators must make sure the proposed cuts don't harm both.

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