State lawmakers react to Governor's budget proposal - Montgomery Alabama news.

Ala. Gov.'s budget gets cool reception


State lawmakers in both parties reacted strongly to Gov. Robert Bentley's budget proposal.  They particularly criticized his plan to move $185 million in Medicaid expenses from the General Fund budget to the Education Trust Fund budget.

"It's the Education Trust Fund, not the health care trust fund, said Sen. Trip Pittman, R – Daphne, and chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee.  "And ultimately if we start to take on those costs, we're just going to have more and more money to diminish the costs that available for the classroom and the support of the classroom which is teachers, supplies textbooks."

The governor said he decide to make that request just last Thursday.  Lawmakers had criticized an earlier proposal to combine the state's two budgets. 

"We will work with the Legislature," Gov. Bentley said.  "We came up with a solution to solve the problem this year.  And we believe that this is the best way, and we're not looking at Plan B.  I want them to look at Plan A right now."

While the Departments of Corrections and Public Safety would see level funding under the Governor's proposal, many other agencies could see their funds cut anywhere from 10%-24%.  The Department of Human Resources would only see a 4.8% cut.

Committee heads in the House and Senate say they will come up with their own budgets to tackle the state's fiscal issues. 

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