Editorial - Amendment One

Many of us are being forced to use the holiday funds we've set aside to pay for our mortgage, food and gas.

Likewise, the state needs to tap into its Alabama Trust Fund reserves next year to pay for current services.

That fund consists of royalties paid the state by companies that pump natural gas offshore.

Voters will decide election day whether to change the state constitution to expand the amount the state can take from this rainy day account for the education budget and create a separate rainy day account for the general fund budget that funds all services other than education.

Both budgets will be cut this year when the Governor will be forced to declare proration due to several millions of dollars of  revenue shortfalls that are not expected to subside any time soon.

Amendment One will mitigate the devastating effects of the cuts short term and will require the state to pay back the money within six years for the education rainy day fund and 10 years for the general fund.

Using part of our current three billion dollar trust fund to balance an operation budget is not good policy and will cost interest money.

But a rainy day fund is set up for just such an occasion and this is more than a passing shower.  It is a powerful storm that likely won't go away for two years.

Vote yes for Amendment One.  And remain diligent on voting for government leaders who will be wise about how we appropriate funds in the future.