Will The Trust Fund Get Paid Back?

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By Lisa Blackwell

Now that voters have passed a constitutional amendment approving transfer of money to the ailing general fund budget, will it ever get paid back?

Voters approved the transfer of 437 million dollars over the next three years.

Governor Bentley says he's glad voters approved the constitutional amendment but he's not sure yet how the money will be replenished.

"The legislature needs to give me a lot of discretion if we have some suits, tobacco suits, any lawsuit, we could use money that comes in through suits to put into the pay back of the Alabama Trust fund, but we can identify monies that I believe will pay that back," said Bentley.

Senator Dick Brewbaker, (R) District 25, says, the amendment doesn't require it be paid back and finding funds will be challenging.

"We were so short of funds that we had to go into the trust fund to make the budget solvent, so I'm not sure where money is going to come from to pay it back, I favor paying it back and apparently the governor has come up with a source of revenue and I look forward to seeing what that is.

Senator Quinton Ross, (D) District 26, says he's more concerned about the general fund budget.

"I'm not really focusing on paying that back but I'm focusing on trying to find solutions that are going to stabilize our general fund budgets so we don't get in this position again," said Ross.

Bentley says he's counting on twenty five percent of use taxes to help out with the general fund going forward.

He's also counting heavily on Congress to pass the free market fairness legislation which would allow the state to collect 75 percent of internet sales taxes.

State Treasurer Young Boozer says he will be meeting with the Finance Director to look at cash flow projections to determine how the trust fund money will be paid out over the next fiscal year.

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