Ala. court refuses to dismiss suit against Riley

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to throw out a lawsuit that the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee filed against the governor in a dispute over the state General Fund budget.

Gov. Bob Riley had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, but the court refused late Wednesday afternoon.

The suit now goes back to Montgomery County Circuit Court to be heard by a judge.

The legislators sued Riley in July because he used a line-item veto to remove language that the Legislature put into the state's new General Fund budget.

The language shielded some health and social service programs from budget cuts if state tax collections fall below appropriations.

Those agencies, including Medicaid, make up nearly half of the $2 billion budget.

Riley argued that all agencies should be treated the same.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)