Alabama is one of a handful of states that has separate budgets for General Fund and Education Fund. This is an antiquated practice that masks the true problems of government spending.
While many claim this practice protects education, I believe it actually hinders it. Because of a two-budget system, fundamental issues are hidden. If more revenue is needed in education the only thing left to do is pass a new tax, instead of reprioritizing existing revenues. Priorities should be shifted to the most strategic issues which will bring sustainable improvement to the state.
The politicians in Montgomery hide behind the wall of this two budget system, giving us a false view that education dollars are protected. This is evidenced by routinely transferring education budget dollars to non-education purposes. By eliminating the wall of a two-budget system, taxpayers will really see where their tax dollars are being spent.
As Governor, I will propose legislation that would unify these budgets into one.
It's simply good governance; and it's working in many other states.
This would allow greater flexibility when it comes to budgeting and enable our elected leaders to make long-term, strategic decisions when dealing with state priorities each year, while making it more transparent to hardworking taxpayers.
The bottom line? A unified budget is a great way to hold everyone in Montgomery accountable.