Alabama's bleak budget outlook - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Alabama's bleak budget outlook

Posted by Max Reiss – bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – The state's top officials when it comes to finances presented Alabama's economic outlook for the next two years to lawmakers.

The director of the state's Legislative Fiscal Office, Joyce Bigbee, told lawmakers that serious cuts to both of the state's main budgets were in jeopardy of serious cuts.

Department of Finance Director David Perry also gave a similar presentation.

"The state faces a very serious shortfall in its budgets" Perry said. "If the cuts are implemented fully, citizens will feel the impact."

Perry said his office's projections for the state's budgets weren't much different from the LFO's. However he did say he projected a more bleak outlook for the state.

Both agencies anticipate approximately 15% cuts to agencies that receive appropriations through the General Fund Budget. For the Education Trust Fund, it was projected at around 2% if the state doesn't see similar growth that it did in January.

Governor Bentley, speaking at an economic development conference in Montgomery said proration for both budgets was in the works.

"As far as the education budget is concerned we will make a decision at the end of this month and if the figures look at least decent. . . We will not declare proration" Bentley Said.

On the General Fund Budget Bentley said there is no doubt that he will call proration but said he will have to wait several weeks before he settles on a figure.

Perry and Bentley both said prioritizing will be the key during budget negotiations, saying it is more likely that some agencies will face more harsh instead others. Across the board cuts was not their goal.

"It's like doing surgery," Bentley said. "You have to be very careful about what you cut. You don't want to cut things that are essential."

Tuesday was the first of four days of budget hearings. They end Thursday.

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