How does Alabama spend your tax dollars?

Published 4:14 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By ALLEN FARLEY / Guest columnist
Recently Governor Robert Bentley publicly declared that he, (since the November 2014 election), now fully realizes the true depth of Alabama’s dismal financial state. Wow! That’s kind of like saying we just realized our state prisons are at 192 percent capacity. (I know that’s not funny, but I couldn’t help myself).
Should we cut the governor some slack? Maybe his new chief of staff, (Former Democrat Speaker of The House Seth Hammett), has enlightened him on things about Alabama’s finances that he hadn’t previously been aware of. (I know that anything is possible in Montgomery. But, this one is one for the history books).
Apparently Governor Bentley feels we have trimmed Alabama’s bulging government as far as it can be trimmed. (Does our governor really believe that, or is that what his advisors are now telling him?) Now, I’ll admit, $700 million is a lot of trimming. However, over the last four years, conservative leadership in Alabama’s Legislature has cut away over $1 billion from our super-sized state government. Can we look into a few more Montgomery government offices and find $700 million additional taxpayer dollars? I don’t know. But, I think we owe it to Alabama families to at least try before we walk away and place additional taxes on the futures of our children and grandchildren.
Let’s step back and look at this:
• Alabama’s recent ACT scores tell us that less than 20 percent of Alabama’s 10th-graders are college ready.
• Alabama’s health officer tells us Medicaid paid 53 percent of Alabama’s child births in 2012.
• Alabama’s State Prison Budget has increased from $205.3 million in 2000 to $394 million in 2015.
$700 Million Dollar Question:
How does Alabama spend your tax dollars?
1 Corinthians 4:2 states Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

God Bless America!!!

Allen Farley represents Jefferson and Shelby Counties in Alabama’s House District 15. Representative Farley can be contacted at, or 960-7526