Bentley talks budgets

Posted by Max Reiss – bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Governor Robert Bentley shared part of his economic vision for the state during remarks to the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

In reference to the state's budgeting process, he said the state can't keep splitting up the way it appropriates funds.

Bentley said "Eventually I think we're going to have to have a unified budget."

He went on to say "I can't push that this year. That's something the education people would not like."

The governor made it clear within the first month that he was in office that he would probably declare 15% proration in the General Fund budget. He echoed that sentiment during his remarks.

The General Fund however he said was inherently flawed in the way the state earns revenue.

"The General Fund is made up as I say of taxes that are not growth taxes," Bentley said. "And when the economy picks up, it doesn't pick up as quickly."

In discussing the difficult economic situation he inherited when he took office, he shouldered some of the responsibility on former Governor Bob Riley.

"I don't know, 40 million dollars went out the door just a few days before I went into office. Now I'm not blaming him, but I'm not going to do that. When I leave, I'm not going to spend every penny for the next governor that's coming in."

Leaders in the Alabama State Legislature have said state budget talks should begin next week on the floors in the House and Senate.

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