From the Montgomery Advertiser:
Alabama voters should go to their polling places on Sept. 18 in a distinctly displeased mood, brimming with anger at the dereliction of their Legislature and governor, an abdication of responsibility that has left the voters with a terrible choice to make. It should never have come to this. Never.
Yet it has, and so the voters of our state find themselves facing a referendum with enormous consequences — direct consequences for hundreds of thousands of us and indirect, but still potentially grave, consequences for all of us. Even though these same voters in 2010 elected the 140 members of the House and Senate and the governor to make tough decisions, they instead got a tough decision tossed back in their laps. It’s just plain wrong.
The referendum will determine whether Alabama’s continually strapped General Fund budget will get a three-year infusion of funding of about $145 million a year from the state’s oil and natural gas trust fund.
A responsible Legislature would have done its job and taken steps to address the funding issue, which looms large and menacingly over our state. A responsible governor would have demanded such action and offered some leadership on the matter.
That didn’t happen, and now the voters of Alabama are saddled with a critical choice, with weighing the deeply troubling implications of failing to approve the referendum against the eminently understandable desire not to bail out the spineless lot that put them in this position.
There is no Plan B. Gov. Robert Bentley has flatly stated he will not offer or support any tax proposal, not even the sensible cigarette tax proposed earlier this year, which could have long-term health benefits by reducing smoking while raising an estimated $230 million in annual revenue now. Democrats in the Legislature say they will offer an alternative if the referendum fails, but they are so marginalized in the Republican-dominated bodies that it might not matter. ...
The Sept. 18 vote matters — hugely — for every Alabamian. For that reason, the Advertiser urges voters not to vent their immensely justified anger at their non-leading leaders by reflexively opposing the referendum.
There will be an opportunity to hold the Legislature and governor accountable in the 2014 elections. In the meantime, the consequences of not passing the referendum are simply too great to accept. As galling as it is to do so, we recommend voting yes on Sept. 18.
From the Montgomery Advertiser:
Unfamiliar but welcome sound at night
There was an unfamiliar sound in our house the other night.
It wasn’t anything eerie or strange.
Holiday time means gas prices increase
You can almost set your calendar by them.
It must be the holiday season because gas prices just went up since last week.
Brown Thursday? It’s Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is family get-togethers. Sharing a meal and fellowship.
And being thankful. It shouldn’t be camping out at a store to get the latest high-tech gizmo
- Let's give thanks daily
- Christmas songs before Thanksgiving?
- Under age, Under arrest
A special thank you - everyday - on this Veterans Day
We should honor those who served everyday not just one day in November
Thank a veteran today and every day
... for all they’ve done and for all they’re doing, it just doesn’t seem right to thank them just one day a year.
Opportunity knocking; make sure to answer
... congratulations to Onyx for taking the opportunity and, hopefully, that will encourage other businesses to move here and provide opportunities — economical and otherwise — for our community.
True Christmas spirit soars above tallest tree
After all, the tree is just a symbol. A powerful symbol, grant you, but a symbol, nonetheless.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Unfamiliar but welcome sound at night