Wed May 27 07:28:57 PDT 2015
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Task Force Dedicated To State Budget
Madeleine Hackett

91 percent of Alabama’s State revenue is dedicated, or "earmarked" to particular spending priorities- while the national average stands at 24 percent. A state committee task force is looking into this to see if that number is too high. Seven Alabama Representatives, under State House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R. Auburn), are studying every aspect of the budget process. This includes earmarks and determining if they are necessary to assist the state's budget. Earmarks- which are funds allocated to certain state agencies- are used to make sure money is evenly dispersed- and no agency gets unfair support. However, many believe this system of budgeting leads to wasteful spending. Rep. Steven Clouse of Ozark is one of the seven members on the task force. He says "I think the main question is (if) the earmarks need to stay in place...if they don't then of course those funds can be moved around but at that point there may be some agencies that feel they're getting short changed even more so than they are now…so it could turn into a different debate." Commission members are expected to meet several times over the coming months They'll have a final report before the start of the 2016 regular Legislative Session.

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