Early Friday morning, the State Senate passed this year's General Fund budget by a 28-3 vote.
Among those voting "no" were State Sens. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), April Weaver (R-Brierfield) and Chris Elliott (R-Josephine).
During an appearance on Friday's broadcast of Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Elliott acknowledged the necessary horse trading to pass the budget during conference committee negotiations. However, he also warned that there could be pain on the way as the availability of federal dollars from COVID-19 relief programs wind down and are no longer available.
"The realization is going to come and going to come quickly that our budget, our revenues are not going to stay where they are now because they are artificially inflated," he said. "And it is going to be painful. When we spend a year or so funding these agencies at a certain level, then we have to go back in and say 'sorry.' The sugar high, the federal government spending high has worn off, and it is gone. And we don't have the revenue that we had last year. And so, we now have to cut."
"The one-time expenses are one thing," Elliott continued. "Yes, the money is there. Yes, we can do a rebate. And you can have the conversation about how much the rebate should be. Those one-time expenses, I am a little bit more understanding of. It's the reoccurring ones. It is the growth of government that scares me and should. Good conservatives talk about the growth of government, speaking against it. But what we did last night, excuse me, early this morning was we grew government, and I voted 'no.'"
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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