On Tuesday, Senator Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) passed a non-binding resolution (Senate Joint Resolution 60) in the Alabama Senate stating that members of the legislature should forego compensation during any special legislative sessions in 2015, if the legislature fails to pass a budget during the current regular session.
Senator Dial also released the following statement in support of Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh’s plan to generate more revenue by creating a lottery and allowing gaming in the state:
“This legislative session is rapidly drawing to a close, and it appears to me that no real progress is being made toward solving the budget crisis for the next fiscal year, much less towards providing any long-term solutions for funding essential services. As expected, there is a lot of gamesmanship going on right now regarding funding options, but it is time for the games to end and for serious work to begin.
“Let me make a few things clear: first, attempts to raise taxes are extremely difficult. It is up to the House to send whatever budget they can to the Senate. However, I know the people have made it abundantly clear they expect us to solve funding problems, preferably without taxes.
“Second, the Poarch Creek Indian proposal to buy the State of Alabama for $250 million is not going to happen. I believe this proposal is illegal and that the state would be prohibited from taking the money even if it wanted to. But, most importantly, that proposal is just wrong. The whole idea of giving the Indians a monopoly in exchange for a cash payoff sounds like a bribe.
“The only plan I have seen that makes any sense is Senator Marsh’s proposal to create an ongoing stream of revenue, produce 11,000 jobs, and generate a $1 billion annual economic impact. Above all else, the Marsh plan allows the people to make the final decision on this issue. It’s time to let the people vote and define their own future for the state.
“We got elected to come do a job, and that job is to pass a budget. We have yet to do that this session and if we have to come back in a special session, it should be on us – not the taxpayers. That’s why I authored Senate Joint Resolution 60, which the Senate passed this afternoon.
“We still need to look at creative ways to continue to provide necessary state services in a more efficient manner. Perhaps some of those services can be outsourced to the private sector, and there may be government departments that can be consolidated and streamlined. The bottom line is we were elected to make these tough decisions, and the time for making those decisions is now.”
Senator Gerald Dial represents District 13 in the Alabama Senate, which includes all or parts of Randolph, Lee, Cleburne, Clay, Cherokee, and Chambers counties. He serves as Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. Gerald and his wife Faye reside in Lineville.