January 12, 2010

State of Alabama
Press Release: Lt. Governor Folsom (2007-11)

Governor Folsom Responds to the State of the State Address

Transcript of Lt Governor Folsom Responding to the State of the State Address

As always, the Governor did a good job of communicating the issues for us.  There are certainly some serious issues before us.  We probably face the toughest budgets we have ever faced in the history of the state in years back to back.  The economy generally recovers after a recession, but we have not recovered completely this time. But the Governor enumerated the issues that are going to be important.  One that received a great deal of response and enthusiasm from a bi-partisan perspective is fixing the PACT crisis.  I’m focused on that as I think Democrats and Republicans are focused on it. I think there’s going to be a lot of work done to solve that problem. 


I personally see PACT as a priority issue.


There has been a resolution introduced in Washington just over the last day or two asking for additional stimulus money – a six month extension of the stimulus money.  There is hope at this time that Washington will take some action and a lot of people are hopeful that we can have some additional help but we don’t really know that right now.  I do know this, we are facing a 7% reduction in the education trust fund that we are going to have to adjust and we are probably looking at proration in the area of 12%.


We are really going to have to be serious and function in a bi-partisan way and work at solving problems.  Even though it’s a political year, we don’t need to get political.  We need to go ahead and address the budget crisis in this state.


A best case scenario - and I’m hopeful for it -  is that we will pass both budgets without having to come back for a special session and that we will fix the PACT program. 


There will be Charter School legislation and legislation defining what bingo is and what bingo isn’t.  You are going to see those things come up in the session. 

Everyone has their own opinion about which of these bills should pass or fail.  I personally would like to see the budgets addressed and passed.  I would also like to see the PACT program made whole.  We are looking at a pay now or pay later scenario.  We will be looking at hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation if we don’t solve it.  Those are two very important issues we must address.


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