General Budget passes House

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Thanks to an infusion of about $1 billion in federal stimulus funds, the Alabama House has approved a $2.5 billion General Fund budget that protects the jobs of state employees.

State Employees Association Director Mac McArthur says more than 1,000 state workers would have lost their jobs without the stimulus funds.

The House voted 101-0 Wednesday to pass the budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. Among other things, it fully funds a program to provide health insurance for children from low and middle income families.

The budget passed after House Democratic leaders and Republican Gov. Bob Riley resolved a dispute over how much money would be put into an emergency fund to be spent at the discretion of the governor.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)