HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The stimulus money is long gone, and the rainy day funds depleted, now a $437 million transfer from the Alabama Trust Fund is just enough to keep the state afloat for the next three years. Wasting no time after the September 18th vote, lawmakers scrambled to draft up plans to repay the loan.
State Senator Paul Sanford already has two plans in the works.
A long-term plan would refill the trust fund coffers over 10 years at 5% interest, starting in 2016.
“That way the future generations don’t lose much off of us tapping into the fund for the short-term bridge that we’re using it for,” said Sanford.
Sanford’s short-term plan hinges on the hope of a hefty BP settlement, that would be used to refill the emptied rainy day funds, and hopefully repay the $437 million from the trust fund.
“There’s still $599 million outstanding on the two rainy day funds. So I want to make sure if we do get a big payment from BP we go back to the trust fund and make it whole,” said Stanford.
The Senator then hopes to use 10% of any leftover settlement money to beef up the trust fund.
Sanford says pension plan reform and consolidation to public safety programs are all expected to be on the table in the coming legislative session.
“I think we all have several different ideas on how to solve this problem, and then leadership will try to package those ideas to where we can see the most benefit for the average citizen of the state.”