Governor: Stimulus key to budgets

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley says a federal economic stimulus package would allow Alabama to maintain state government operations at close to their current level next year.

Riley says education spending could be higher than it currently is.

Riley unveiled his proposed state budgets for fiscal 2010 on Wednesday and they address two scenarios - passage of a federal stimulus package and failure of the package.

If the package fails, Riley says education spending would drop from this year's $5.8 billion to $5.6 billion next year.

With the package, it could jump to $6.2 billion.

Riley's $1.6 billion General Fund budget is based on state agencies getting about the same amount they are currently receiving.

But that's contingent on the federal government increasing the amount it provides Alabama for Medicaid and the state being able to reduce its appropriation for Medicaid.

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