Referendum: Alabama's financial future to be decided by voters - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Referendum: Alabama's financial future to be decided by voters

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

Voters in Alabama will decide the future of the state's finances. Governor Robert Bentley says he believes voters will approve a constitutional amendment that aims to prevent cutbacks in state services.

The proposed amendment would allow state officials to take $437 million out of a state trust fund over a three-year period. This would in turn help finance the state's general fund budget and keep agencies like Medicaid and state prisons afloat.

Without this approval, corrections officers could lose their jobs and some patients may be turned away from hospitals. 

Bentley says the amendment would be a bridge to get through the worst economic times in recent history.

If the amendment does not pass, the governor could call for more spending cuts to make up the difference in the budget.It's believed those cuts could be between 13 and 20%. 

Included in the plan is a means to pay the funds back. The governor and other proponents say the money will allow the state to get through tough budget times. Opponents say it will allow the Legislature to keep from making tough budget decisions before the next legislative elections in 2014.

Copyright 2012 WTVM. All rights reserved. The Associate Press Contributed to this report. 

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2012 Georgia and Alabama Voter Information

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