Alabama voters on Nov. 4 approved Amendment 1, which enables state officials to dip into the $2.8 billion Alabama trust fund, which holds oil and gas royalties.
The measure provides emergency funding up to $625 million for the state’s two budgets, one of which is the education budget and the other the general fund. Whatever is taken from the trust fund must be repaid within five years.
The state has a rainy-day fund for the education budget, but there is no such backup for the general fund.
Amendment 1 is expected to help prevent some budget cuts this fiscal year, which started Oct. 1. The state is experiencing a decline in taxes that support the education budget and has had to reduce payments to public schools and colleges.