Support Amendment 1

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The upcoming election will allow local citizens the opportunity to make many important decisions that will impact the future of the country and our local community. One of those important decisions is to support Amendment One, otherwise known as the Rainy Day Fund.

This amendment will provide protection for the state General Fund budget should revenues fall short of projections. The Rainy Day Fund can be compared to a savings account that can be drawn upon when times are tough. Support for Amendment One will protect state services for our most vulnerable citizens (those who experience a mental illness, intellectual disability, or substance addiction). It simply does not make economic or social sense to withdraw support from those hit hardest by tough times.

The Rainy Day Fund will be created by using a small share of the $3.3 billion Alabama Trust Fund, which exists due to royalties on oil and gas drilling. Any temporary transfer of funds will have to be paid back over time.

Amendment One is a bipartisan, long-term solution to stabilizing budgets for state services. The Rainy Day Fund is not a new tax — it is a fiscally responsible strategy for taking care of our community.

I encourage you to vote “yes” for the Rainy Day Amendment on Nov. 4.

Cynthia A. Hataway

Executive director of the South Central Alabama Mental Health Board