Ala. legislators face budgetary, leadership woes

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature convenes Tuesday for a recession-driven 2009 session with less money to spend and fewer Democrats to vote.

The Alabama Legislature goes into the session expecting to have to cut the state education and General Fund budgets dramatically for 2010.

Gov. Bob Riley is anxious to see how much the state might receive if Congress approves an economic stimulus package. He says Alabamians can expect larger class sizes in schools and more layoffs of public employees if no package passes.

The Senate starts work with vacancies in three seats previously held by Democrats. The Senate's presiding officer, Democratic Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., says he hopes that will cause Democrats and Republicans to cooperate.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)