AL House passes General Fund budget after 9 hour filibuster - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL House passes General Fund budget after 9 hour filibuster

(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo) (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It took more than nine hours Tuesday but after a long filibuster House lawmakers passed the Alabama General Fund budget. 

The bill level funds most agencies while providing some money to Medicaid. The real controversial part of the bill is $97 million of the budget being held over for the 2018 budget. Democrats and some Montgomery area Republicans pushed for a four percent pay raise instead of sending a full $97 million to Medicaid. 

Multiple attempts to add a pay raise or one-time bonuses for state employees to the budget failed to get attached to the bill, defeated at the request of House Budget Chair Steve Clouse, R-Ozark.  State employees have not received a pay raise this decade. 

Clouse said the state cannot afford the reoccurring expense a pay raise would put on the budget, especially as this year's budget is propped up by $105 million in BP money, cash which will not be in the budget next year. 

By holding over the $97 million, Clouse said it will help the state deal with a potential $100+ million hole which may be in next year's budget. The money may also help lawmakers potentially later this year as changes to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIPS) program up in Washington could put a larger financial burden on the state. 

Now, the bill goes up to the Senate for its approval.

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