MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The session has begun, and to no one's surprise the really big budget issues will not be discussed for some time. I am not taking anything away from the work that is being done. Each legislator has an agenda full of items that are important to their district and that work has to get done as well. I just never understood why the larger items on the agenda that are statewide don't get done first, and then the more regional items get tackled at the end of the session.
Governor Bentley has proposed a shortfall of only $181 million. I know that is a lot, but compared to last year it is a much more manageable number. The Governor is proposing to fill that 181 million dollar gap by shifting tax money from the education budget to the general fund. At the same time he proposes to draw 181 million from the education savings account and apply that to the Education Fund so that there is no impact on education.
Sorry, but there is an impact. That money is in savings to help guard against cuts in the Education Fund so teachers are not impacted by that cut.
I get lots of emails saying that the state budget is just like a family budget. This is a good example of taking money from your savings to pay for something, instead of making choices to cut what you can't afford or finding other revenue streams to make ends meet. I have never agreed that a State Budget is like a family budget, but I do know that continuing to rob Peter to pay Paul will catch up with you in the end. It always does.