MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama voters have decided by a 2-to-1 margin to avoid dramatic cuts in state government by withdrawing $437 million from a trust fund to help balance the General Fund budget for the next three years.
Republican Gov. Robert Bentley thanked voters Tuesday night for "this temporary funding bridge from the Alabama Trust Fund to maintain essential services as we continue to streamline and right-size government."
The Legislature left it up to voters to decide whether to withdraw the money from the Alabama Trust Fund or require deep cuts of 12 percent or more from health care, social services and other areas in the $1.7 billion budget taking effect Oct. 1. The constitutional amendment shifts the money from a trust fund set up 30 years ago to receive the state's royalties from natural gas wells drilled off the Alabama coast.