Bentley declares proration

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gov. Robert Bentley yesterday took a much-anticipated step when he declared 3 percent proration in the state’s current Education Trust Fund budget. He also formally announced plans to declare 15 percent proration in the state’s General Fund. However, Bentley delayed making that cut formal, saying he first wants to work with the legislature for supplemental appropriations to protect priority agencies.

The announcement came in a news release from the governor’s office released late in the day on Monday.

Educators had been anticipating 3 to 5 percent proration of the current budget for months.

According to information released by the governor’s office yesterday, the Alabama Department of Finance and the Department of Revenue, estimates revenues to the State General Fund for fiscal year 2011 are insufficient to fund all appropriations at their current levels.

The current Education Trust Fund budget has a $165 million shortfall while the current General Fund budget has a $110 million shortfall.

“Both our Education Trust Fund and our state’s General Fund budgets are based on unreliable revenue projections,” said Governor Bentley. “Now, five months into the 2011 Fiscal Year, it is clear that there is not enough revenue to sustain either budget. Proration is necessary to balance the budgets.”

“The taxpayers expect us to live within our means just as families and businesses are forced to do,” said Finance Director David Perry. “No one is pleased that we have a revenue shortfall which requires proration in the budgets that were passed last year, but mid-year cuts are necessary for Alabama to meet its constitutional obligation for a balanced budget.”

Proration in the Education Trust Fund is effective immediately.