Voters React to Amendment Outcome

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By CBS-8 Reporter

The results are in. Voters across the state decided by a 2-to-1 margin to approve a constitutional amendment that will take $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to help balance the general fund budget.

There's mixed reactions over the results. CBS 8 News talked to several people who voted, and some are saying Alabamians made a huge mistake passing Amendment 1.

The amendment would allow the transfer of $437 million from reserve funds towards the General Fund for the Medicaid budget  to help balance it for the next three years.

While Governor Robert Bentley and many lawmakers support the referendum, some legislators like Joe Hubbard are against it.

"I suggest that we don't need three years. We ought to do it before the quadrennial is up. Before the next election. Let Alabamians judge us on our performance," Hubbard says.

Those who voted "NO" say the amendment is just a temporary fix and the state is not living within their means.

"I would really be interested to see how the legislature plans to pay it back. That's my biggest issue right now," says voter Noah Rocker.

But other voters like Clifford Hunter supported the amendment, because he didn't want to see thousands of Alabamians lose their jobs.

"We need progress. I mean we need to keep places open, and keep people in jail who need to stay in jail," Hunter says.

Lawmakers did pass next year's budget assuming this amendment would pass.

Gov. Robert Bentley has released a statement following the passage of tonight's vote.

Bentley says he wants to thank voters for approving the state plan to temporarily borrow funds from our savings account to help get us through these difficult economic times without raising taxes. 

He says once again, I pledge to the people of this state that the funds transferred to help support critical state services will be paid back.