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Citizens to vote in Alabama trust fund referendum Tuesday

Published 2:34pm Monday, September 17, 2012

Alabama voters will decide Sept. 18 if $437 million from a state trust fund should be used to prevent budget cuts.

The referendum is the only issue on the ballot. Voting yes would approve the constitutional amendment to allow $145.8 million a year for three years to be taken from the Alabama Trust Fund. Voting no would not allow any money to be used from the fund.

The fund was created in 1985 collect royalties from oil and natural gas wells drilled in Alabama coast state-owned waters.

If the amendment is not approved, the government will have to make cuts or find the money elsewhere. Budget cuts could cause a mass release of prisoners from Alabama prisons and healthcare services cuts.

Alabama Sen. Bill Holtzclaw wrote in his September newsletter, “If this option were going to truly solve our budget problems, I’d be out front supporting the measure. Unfortunately, this does not solve our long-term budget problems for Medicaid and prisons…it only kicks the proverbial can down the road for three more years as we hope the economy continues to improve while we continue to refine already scaled back state services through innovation and reform, such as sentencing reform addressing our prison overcrowding. On the other hand – this measure does just that – gives us three years to continue to work and make surgical cuts, rather than slashes, in our budgets.”

Read his newsletter in its entirety at http://district2.us/newsletter.html.

A sample ballot of the proposed amendment can be found at http://www.madisoncountyal.gov/voter/sampleballots.php.

In Madison, some voters are assigned to different polling locations than the locations for the municipal election in August. For state and federal polling locations in Madison, visit http://www.madisoncountyal.gov/voter/Sample%20Ballot%20-%20Special%20Constitutional%20Amendment%20Election%20-%209-18-12.pdf.

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