Sid Salter: Special-fund raids often balance budget

When legislators are confronted with raising taxes, cutting services or raiding special funds — even ones like the Health Care Trust Fund that the Legislature formally declared “inviolate” — history has shown that regardless of party, lawmakers will choose to raid the special funds. As Moore honestly observed, that isn’t a partisan thing, either.

The rub for legislative leaders is that not all the criticism of the current effort to “sweep” special funds is coming from Democrats like Hood. Republican statewide elected officials like Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann have likewise criticized the measure.

The rub for Hood is that he served for five years on Moore’s staff at the AG’s office and succeeded him in 2004. Special fund or nonrecurring fund spending has been a nonstop affair over those years to little or no objection until it was codified in this new 2016 law.