Senators continue to disagree as general fund budget goes to Ivey

As the night turned to the early morning lawmakers were left unsatisfied with where money from the general fund was going and where it was not.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 3:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Lawmakers were at the state house until early Friday morning passing over 70 bills, but the process hit a snag when it came to allocating billions of dollars from the state’s general fund and education trust fund. The ETF eventually passed unopposed, but some lawmakers are still unhappy with how the budget that pays for everything else was distributed.

“Poorest region of the state, not one whole million dollars went to west Alabama,” said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton.

The $3 billion budget and its $207 million dollar supplemental include funding increases for various state agencies and projects.

“That transfer of $23.5 million will result in an additional $94 million in federal highway dollars for the people of Alabama,” said Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield. “That is a total of $117.5 million more dollars for Alabama’s highways.”

The funding for local projects caused problems.

“My heart does not want me to vote for this because I know that that particular area, which is an area that is in such high need has been left out,” said Senator Vivian Figures, D-Baldwin County.

One instance was an effort in the conference committee to take money from the budgets ending balancing and give the Montgomery County Commission Economic Development $10 million dollars instead of $5 million.

“The goal of constraining growth and restricting spending in these two bills has been met, in my opinion,” said Senator Greg Albritton, R- Baldwin County.

As the budgets were finally sent to Governor Kay Ivey, Sen. Clyde Chambliss, R-Autauga County, is still concerned the budget was not conservative enough.

“This quadrium before we get out we are going to be scraping and clawing and trying to figure out how we’re going to balance budgets,” he said.

Ivey has five days to make any executive changes to the budgets while lawmakers have three legislative days left in the session.

The budgets being sent to the governor are:

The budgets also include pay raises for educators and state employees.

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