The Senate will go into session tomorrow at 10AM. I look forward to seeing the mood of the body now that we have completed the Sunset Bills.
To close out tonight’s blog I’d like to offer some thoughts regarding news that I follow while working through the budget options we are facing this year. The Governor has proposed and continues to champion a tax package including a assortment of increases as a means to fill the budget holes. I look to recent tax votes made by THE PEOPLE - arguably votes made locally to tax themselves for local purposes as opposed to tax increases that go to what has been described as “the black hole” in Montgomery.
Lawrence County voters overwhelmingly voted down a proposed property tax increase last night by a 79% margin. In March, Baldwin County voters did the same in a 2-1 margin. I look to these examples as a litmus test of sorts to gauge the will of THE PEOPLE with regards to tax increases. They do not support.
Couple the above with reports that the US economy grew at a very sluggish 0.2% in the first quarter of 2015. We are fortunate as a state to have low unemployment and the work we are doing at the state and local levels to encourage business and job growth is paying off but - fact is the economy at the local, state and national level remains stagnate. Simply put, our economy is not shrinking but it is not growing either.
As I’ve shared before, I represent those that sent me to Montgomery, not those in Montgomery. It is clear to me that THE PEOPLE do not support increasing taxes and so the state must do what families across our state are doing – live within our budget.
Semper Fi - Bill