State General Fund Again Needs Money from Trust Fund

Montgomery, AL – Alabama officials are planning to dip into the state's largest savings account again to balance the state General Fund budget. The board of the Alabama Trust Fund has voted to approve the removal of 21 million dollars to help balance next year's budget. 24 million was removed last fiscal year for the General Fund. State Finance Director Jim Main and Governor Riley led the push to withdraw the money, while State Treasurer Kay Ivey opposed it. Main likens keeping the money in the trust fund to putting money in a Christmas savings account when the bank is about to foreclose on the home mortgage. Meanwhile...Ivey says the state can't keep whittling down the Trust Fund. The two billion dollar trust fund was created with proceeds from natural gas wells drilled in state-owned waters along the Alabama coast. The state constitution allows part of the fund's capital gains to be withdrawn each year.