Special election September 18th splits Republican Party - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Special election September 18th splits Republican Party

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Gov. Robert Bentley says there's no other way to put it.

"We all try to have savings on-hand in case of a rainy day," he said. "For the state that day has come."

The day he's referring to is September 18. That's when Alabama will vote 'yes' or 'no' for whether to allow the state to dip into its trust fund and put about $400 million into the general fund budget to avoid cuts and taxes.

"This amendment simply allows us to access a portion of the money the state has in a savings account in order to offset those cuts without raising taxes," Bentley said. "This is about making the most use of the resources we have available."

"I, personally, am opposed to it," Sen. Scott Beason said.

Beason opposes the idea, saying the trust fund was never meant for this. He says if the state doesn't deal with the problem now, it will be a bigger problem for future generations. He says he's not for raising taxes or cuts, but he believes it has to be done.

"Let's make our tough decisions now, let's make them while we're in office, let's take all the heavy hits now, let's take a bullet now and then whoever comes after us in the legislature and our children and our children's children will benefit from us making the tough decisions."

Tough decisions that could mean the end of the road for employees with medicaid, public safety, courts, the Department of Corrections and could mean early parole for many inmates.

Bentley says that's unnecessary because the state has the funds right now to avoid that.