MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama legislative session will be in full swing in less than a week. Gov. Robert Bentley has said the state needs at least $250 million in additional revenue just to maintain current services. He is proposing a $700 million tax package – we will learn details next Tuesday during the State of the State speech.
For years Alabama has faced a recurring crises in the general fund budget, but the state legislature and the governor have managed to piece together either one-time funding or cuts in services to get through another year, knowing that at best they were buying time.
Recently Governor Bentley hinted that there may need to be some sort of tax changes in order to raise the additional revenue needed. Jim Williams, executive director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, told those attending PARCA's annual meeting that Alabama works with less revenue than any other state in the nation.
Although I am new to the state and need solid information to support new taxes, I do promise to keep an open mind on the possibility of new or any other solution that is brought up during the legislative session. I hope legislators and you, the public, keep open minds, too.
If nothing else, Governor Bentley is starting the dialogue to more long-term economic answers instead of kicking the can down the road.