Senate Committee addresses funding Dispute

MONTGOMERY, Ala.(AP)_ The feuding between the Legislature and the governor over the state budgets took a new turn Thursday. A Senate committee voted to make it harder to shift programs from the financially strapped General Fund budget to the healthier education budget.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee approved a bill that would require the Legislature to pass a resolution of approval before passing an education budget if the budget increased funding to a program traditionally funded out of the General Fund budget.

The bill is the latest action in the battle that began last week when Riley recommended increasing funding from the education budget for some agencies that traditionally get most or all of their money from the General Fund budget. Riley maintains the agencies, such as state archives, serve an education purpose. But teacher lobbyist Paul Hubbert argues that Riley is taking $70 million away from public education.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Lowell Barron, says passing a resolution before approving the budget would shine a light on what's happening.

Riley's press secretary, Jeff Emerson, says the bottom line is that the governor has proposed an education budget that would give more money to all levels of education.

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