Crunch time for Ala. lawmakers, only 3 days left

Posted by: Matt Stanley - bio | email

Montgomery, Ala. (WSFA) -- Three days remain inside Alabama's legislature and lawmakers have not passed the general fund budget.

Governor Bob Riley and state representatives are not pleased with the budget approved by the senate.  The $2.5 billion dollar version by the senate cuts the Department of Corrections $9 million below what the house approved.

The senate used that money to expand the state children's health insurance program and give appropriations to festivals, rescue squads and civic organizations.

"With the constraints that we have on our budget and our economy, the way it is today, now to me is not the time to be expanding programs like that," said Governor Riley.

The house unanimously rejected the senate's version of the general fund budget.  It will be assigned to a conference committee made up of three house members and three senators.

Lawmakers are also having a hard time helping the state's financially ailing prepaid college tuition program or P.A.C.T.   A bill to shore up the program's finances has not been considered in the senate.  The legislation will die if it's not passed by Thursday, May 14th.

Then legislature meets again May 21st and May 22nd.

P.A.C.T. has lost about half of its assets in the struggling stock market.

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