By Gary Lloyd
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday announced his solution to fill a $700 million funding shortfall in the general fund budget.
The general fund supports most non-education-related functions of state government. For decades, problems have existed in the way funding was appropriated to the general fund because of no growth taxes available to support it, according to a statement.
A temporary solution for the past few years has been to support the ailing fund with one-time revenue. With mounting debts state government owes dating back to 2005 and no one-time revenue available, Bentley has launched a new plan that he believes will put the general fund on a better, more sustainable, path forward.
“We have spent the last four years making government operate more efficiently and effectively, saving taxpayers over $1.2 billion annually,” Bentley said. “As we begin the 2015 Legislative Session, one of the most serious issues we face is the funding of our state’s general fund. We have debts that must be repaid, and we must help our two largest agencies, Medicaid and Corrections, with funding increases. I am presenting a plan that will increase revenue for the General Fund and make taxes more fair and equitable for everyone.”
The Governor’s Revenue Plan includes eight options that total $541 million in estimated increases in revenue. When Bentley presents his budget options to the Legislature next week, he will also propose un-earmarking $187 million to solve the financial shortfall in the general fund.
Read about those options here.
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