Budget earmarks are a serious threat to Alabama's future. In fact, as much as 93 cents of every dollar in Alabama's state budget is already spent before our leaders even make a budgeting decision. And shamefully, Alabama leads the country as the state with the most earmarked budget. This is wrong, and it has to end.
The state's heavily earmarked budget could be thought of this way: imagine if University of Alabama Coach Nick Saban was required to keep the same 9 players (of 11) in the entire game with no change. Without the flexibility of re-prioritizing the players, he would be unable to change basic strategies like going from offense to defense.
Yet, this is how the career politicians in Montgomery manage the state budget. The current earmarks reflect priorities that were set decades ago, and they are a huge reason why our taxes have been increased.
No other state in the nation has a budget like this -- for good reason.
As Governor, I will push for legislation that bans all earmarked spending. It's not just the right thing to do, it also will allow you to hold your elected leaders more accountable. And with no earmarks in the budget, we will be able to increase efficiency and better determine which essential programs should receive funding.