State Government

How Does State Spending Work?

The Alabama Legislature budgets around $20 billion annually in federal and state money to keep state programs and services running. ACPP follows the budget process closely because of the vulnerability of programs serving low-income Alabamians.

This fact sheet This fact sheet explains where the state gets its money, how the budget process works, and where the money goes.

General Fund 2002-06

How does the General Fund work? How has it fared over the last five years?

This fact sheet This fact sheet sorts out what the General Fund numbers really mean.

Shell Game: Alabama's General Fund 2001-05

It's become a rite of spring in Alabama: First, agency heads, newspaper editors and advocacy groups predict disaster for the General Fund. Next, lawmakers find just enough spending to cut and just enough piecemeal revenue to add to keep the state in business for another 12 months. Every year, the doomsayers get accused of "crying wolf," but what's really going on?

This fact sheet This fact sheet examines what the General Fund does, what forces drive its budget, and what the numbers really mean.

Two Steps Back: Alabama's Structural Deficit

Alabama's latest budget crisis points to a deeper problem that can't be fixed with short-term measures: The state doesn't take in enough money from year to year to support state services at an adequate level. Economists call this built-in shortfall a structural deficit.

Read full fact sheet.

Three Tests of Government Accountability

Recent legislative sessions have seen many proposals for improving government accountability. ACPP believes that accountability deserves a better definition than the debate has offered so far.

This fact sheet This fact sheet describes three tests that an accountable state government must meet.

Alabama's legislative process: Get involved

Most people recognize the vital role that voting plays in a democracy – even if they don't vote. But fewer understand the importance of the citizen's role in influencing legislators to enact good public policy.

This fact sheet explains how the Alabama Legislature works and offers a step-by-step guide to effective citizen participation in Alabama's legislative process.

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