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      Governor supports amendment but looking at other avenues

      Governor Robert Bentley did not come up with the proposed constitutional amendment to pull $437 million from the Alabama Trust Fund over the next three years, but he does support it. Alabama voters will make the call Tuesday.

      This morning, in a statement to abc 3340, the governor said, "This is a constitutional amendment that was proposed by state legislators and passed overwhelmingly by Republicans and Democrats as a way to get through this difficult economic period." He added, I support this amendment, and I hope the people of the state will support it also."

      The governor, however, is a realist. He understands there is a chance this amendment will not pass. Deputy press secretary Jeremy King told abc 3340s Pam Huff, "The governor is looking at potential avenues in case the amendment is not approved." Bentley has stated that if the amendment fails, the general fund would have to be cut by 12%.{}The governor said, "This amendment will allow us to use savings the state already has in order to avoid further, devastating cuts."

      Critics of the proposed amendment point out there is no legislative action that would require the state to payback the $437 million. Bentley addressed that as well. "As we improve the financial health of the state, he said, we will be well-positioned to repay the Alabama Trust Fund. We are committed to paying the fund back. The timeline for doing so will depend on legislation that will be discussed in the next legislative session."

      This afternoon, focus@4 will have much more on the proposed constitutional amendment.