Sun rose as usual on Wednesday
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003
On Wednesday, the sun did rise, but then Gov. Bob Riley's finance director began releasing proposed cuts.
The sun darkened and a dismal fiscal year fast approaches.
This Monday, the governor is expected to call the Legislature into special session to work out a General Fund budget and an Education budget with a $675 million revenue shortfall.
We don't envy the men and women who will take on this task.
We worry about them.
The governor's proposed cuts touch every area of state government and even some non-state agencies.
We see a future where Alabama highways will have fewer state troopers on patrol.
That is just one cut.
Another cut will mean over 5,000 non-violent offenders will walk away from jail to alleviate an already overburdened prison system.
Our elderly will see fewer services and our public schools face unprecedented cuts.
Some said the governor's threats before last Tuesday were simply scare tactics.
Well, his scare tactics are about to become a reality.
The choice was made and we must face the outcome.
Now, our lawmakers must go to Montgomery and do everything possible to get the state's budgets organized and approved so we can truly see where we are in the grand scheme of things.
This special session should not include inflated egos, pork politics or those out to make a name for themselves.
This monetary shortfall is very real and serious and it is time for the serious people to stand up and take action.
Voters told Gov. Riley they wanted better controls on state spending and they expect nothing less.
This recent referendum polarized people like nothing before, and for the next 30 days, we must keep a wary eye on Alabama's Statehouse.