The state of Alabama currently faces a General Fund crisis, which a special session did not solve. Republican state Sen. Clyde Chambliss has introduced a plan to fix the shortfall.

According to his Facebook page, Chambliss suggests both long term and short term components:

Short-term revenue changes include the following:

  • Restructure Business Privilege Tax
  • Remove Sales Tax from Some Groceries
  • Temporary Cigarette and Soft Drink Taxes
  • Transfer the Use Tax to State General Fund

 

Long-term structural reforms include the following:

  • Isolate the Budget
  • Study Department/Agencies
  • Transfer the Use Tax
  • Combine Revenues

Chambliss expects the removal of tax from raw meats, fruits, and vegetables will save taxpayers $70 million while a 3-year tax on cigarettes and soft drinks will increase revenue by $176 million. He also encourages isolating the legislative session into two 60-day sessions, the first session would be to address the budget only. Transferring the use tax is expected to provide the State General fund with a growth tax.  So far, there is no immediate evidence that this plan would definitely cut healthcare programs in the state.

It appears that Chambliss' plan would ease the burden on lawmakers in regards to the budget in the near future. However, it is important to read the fine print on the actual bill. But as it stands, what do you think? Contact your local elected leaders and finding out what all of this really means probably isn't a bad idea.