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Budget Reform Task Force holds last meeting before AL legislative session

Published: Jan. 18, 2017 at 11:25 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2017 at 6:34 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Lawmakers want to make budget issues a thing of the past. On Wednesday, the Budget Reform Task Force held its final meeting before the start of this year's legislative session.

Members of the task force admit they may not be able to solve the problem this year, but hope that the work that was done over the last few months can set up future success.

Almost every year, lawmakers have entered the legislative session wondering how it was going to fill a budget hole. This year looks to be no exception.

Medicaid projects a $60 million shortfall, while the prison system wants an $800 million bond issue to build new prisons.

Those are just the two major programs, other agencies, like ALEA, have asked for more revenue in the past.

The state's budget problems go deep, ingrained sometimes even in the constitution. Alabama's funds are mainly earmarked, which hurts flexibility and the costs are growing.

"It is a problem, we are going to have the same problem as we did last year. I've been down here six years. We are facing the same problem every single time we come down here," said Rep. Allen Farley.

However, most members of the task force believe an answer can be found in future years.

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