Lawmakers brush off Gov. Bentley's veto threat - Montgomery Alabama news.

Lawmakers brush off Gov. Bentley's veto threat


House Speaker Mike Hubbard says the legislature has a responsibility when it comes to the budgets and it will take into account what the governor wants, but not treat it as sacred.

"In the budgeting process, we're the appropriators and he makes recommendations to us."

Hubbard went one step further and said he fears the governor's budget could send the state into proration, mandatory midyear spending cuts.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Robert Bentley sent a tweet from his official Twitter account that read, "If the legislature doesn't include my 2% pay raise for teachers and full funding for PEEHIP, I'll send the budget back w/ an Exec. Amendment."

Gov. Robert Bentley's Education Budget included full funding for PEEHIP, the Public Education Employees Health Insurance Program, whereas the Senate approved budget only maintained last year's funding levels, which could translate into $972 in new charges for PEEHIP members.

The governor's spending plan included a 2% raise for all K-12 and Postsecondary employees. The Senate budget included a one-time 1% bonus in lieu of a raise that would have to be paid for every year.

If the governor were to send the budget back to lawmakers after final passage with an executive amendment, then House and Senate members would have to decide whether to adopt the budget with the governor's proposed changes. If they don't they could approve the budget in its original passed form, essentially overriding the governor's veto.

The top member of the Alabama Senate sided with the Speaker of the House, saying he doesn't think the governor's budget is a fiscally responsible one.

"I'm not going to be a budget buster" said Sen. Del Marsh, R – Anniston, the President Pro Tem of the Senate. "Unless you want to mess up the Rolling Reserve Act, there's no way for us to do what the governor is asking us to do."

The House Education Budget Committee will consider its version of the Education Trust Fund budget next week.

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