If the state Legislature or Alabama voters kill Gov. Riley's $1.2 billion tax package, it doesn't mean there won't be tax increases.
Instead, it means the Legislature may enact tax increases in September that don't require a vote of the people. Says Bill O'Connor, manager of the Campaign for Alabama: "Revenue has to be found. If it's not, important services, life-supporting services, will be jeopardized." O'Connor manages the business organization that helped Riley develop his package and is running ads to support it.
Today (Monday) the Legislature starts its final week in special session to consider Riley's tax and accountability package. If the Legislature approves Riley's package this week, it wouldn't take effect unless approved by Alabama voters. State law requires that such a referendum must be delayed for 90 days after legislative passage, which will put it in early September.
Riley would bring the Legislature back into special session immediately after that referendum to enact state budgets for the fiscal year starting just three weeks later.