It looks like Alabama has figured out a way to raise much needed money for Alabama's District Attorney's and our state court system: The solution - boosting the price of booze. The Alabama Alcohol Control Board, also known as the ABC Board, voted unanimously last week to approve a 5 percent increase on markup prices for liquor sales. Based on last year's alcohol sales in Alabama, this 5 percent bump would create an additional $8.2 million dollars. Of the $8.2 million dollars, $6 million goes to Alabama DA's and the remaining $2.2 million goes to the state's court system. This is not a windfall by any means because our state's DA and court system combined budgets have been reduced by some $64.5 million since 2008; with no appreciable reduction in the workload. Barry Matson, Alabama director of the Office of Prosecution Services is currently handling about "80,000 felonies a year with less than 320 prosecutors to handle those cases." While no one wants to pay more for anything, I'd hope we could all agree this 5% increase is going to support two very important agencies that serve and protect our state. We'd ask that our new Governor and all Alabama lawmaker's come up with a better solution long-term to fund our courts and DA's in ways other than relying on the ABC Board to fill the void. I'm Dave Thomason, that's my take, what's yours?
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