Tag: Alabama Budget
Alabama’s elected leaders have approved a plan to spend $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, despite Senate leaders saying they were left out of the process before their vote Monday.
“Some meetings took place in our absence that we weren’t involved in and I thought that was inappropriate,” Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, told reporters.
House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said House members were worried about slowing down the process of passing the state budgets and getting relief funds to those who needed them immediately, but there was no nefarious intent behind their meetings with Ivey last week.
“The House was willing to step up and bring suggestions to the governor,” McCutcheon said Monday, “We were not working against the Senate. We were not working in secret. We were just doing our job as the House body.”
Ivey said in an emailed statement Monday that her “friendly” amendment to the budget was to ensure CAREs Act funding was made available immediately to those who needed it the most.
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the state’s two budgets Monday after a unique and at some points tense final weeks of the 2020 regular legislative session.
“I appreciate the hard work of the Legislature during an unprecedented regular session,” Ivey said in an emailed statement.
“While we have yet to know the full impact of COVID-19 on our state, these budgets will ensure continuity of government, while being fiscally responsible. There is more work to be done, and I look forward to working with the Legislature in the days ahead.”
A $7.2 billion Education Trust Fund budget was approved, as well as a $2.3 billion General Fund budget, both for fiscal year 2021, which begins in October. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — A week after a public dispute between Gov. Kay Ivey and members of the Legislature about who should control about $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, the governor on Thursday sent lawmakers a detailed proposal for allocating most of it.
The proposed expenditures include money for state agencies’ COVID-19 expenses, businesses, nonprofits and faith-based groups and technology and infrastructure expenses. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — After private wrangling between the Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey over the authority to spend nearly $1.8 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, Ivey on Thursday publicly ceded primary responsibility to lawmakers.
“I have never desired to control a single penny of this money and if the Legislature feels so strongly that they should have that authority, I yield to them both the money and the responsibility to make good decisions – in the light of day where the people of Alabama know what is happening,” Ivey said in a written statement to reporters Thursday afternoon.
But, she said, she will not call the Legislature back into special session until it publicly releases a detailed list of how the money will be spent. And it better not include $200 million for a State House, she warned.
That proposed expenditure was on a wish list of spending circulated at the State House this week and obtained by Alabama Daily News. Legislative leaders disavowed any knowledge of the proposal. Read more.
Also in the Legislature:
A House committee Wednesday approved the Senate-passed $2.38 billion General Fund budget, putting it and the $7.3 billion education budget in line for final passage by Saturday. House leadership on Wednesday afternoon said it will not be taking up bills that aren’t directly tied to the budgets or local to members’ districts, effectively killing some senators’ proposed legislation. Read more.
Also in the Legislature on Tuesday:
Senate Passes General Fund Budget, Stakes Domain Over Coronavirus Funds
Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed 2021 General Fund budget includes money for a range of one-time projects focused on mental health, forensic sciences and youth services.
Ivey’s budget includes funds for a new forensic science lab in North Alabama and more beds at one of the state’s three mental health hospitals in Tuscaloosa.
Also, money for renovations at the Department of Youth Services’ residential facility near Montgomery is included in capital project line items totaling $95.3 million. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama General Fund will pay for a health insurance program for low-income children, Senate leaders said Wednesday. But there are still other details in the $2.1 billion budget to be worked out Thursday, which might be the last day of this legislative session.
Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said Wednesday evening that the court system would not receive money from an Alabama Department of Transportation fund, a budget transfer that has happened for the past 10 years. Read more.
The Alabama House of Representatives approved a $7.1 billion education budget Tuesday, but its final passage still depends on agreement with the Senate on several points, including health insurance for low-income children.
House education budget chairman Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, told his colleagues the proposed budget, a nearly $500,000,000 increase over the current budget, would not fix all of the state’s education problems but is part of the equation.
“This is a positive budget for the state,” Poole said.
It was approved 99 to 0 with four abstentions. Read more.
MONTGOMERY — Gov. Kay Ivey introduced her education and General Fund budgets to state lawmakers this week, with popular provisions like a teacher pay raise, increases for cash-strapped agencies and more money to expand the state’s First Class pre-kindergarten program.
State House budget leaders said Thursday they didn’t see major changes coming to Ivey’s proposed $2.1 billion General Fund budget and $7.1 billion education budget this week, with one possible exception.
Ivey’s proposed education budget — the largest in the state’s history — allocates about $35 million for Children’s Health Insurance Program, which historically has been paid for with General Fund dollars. Read more.
Details of Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed 2020 General Fund and education budgets won’t be released until lawmakers dispense with her proposed gas-tax increase.
Traditionally, the budgets are made public the day after a governor’s State of the State address, which Ivey delivered Tuesday.
State law says the governor has until the second legislative day of a regular session to submit budgets to the Legislature. But that second day won’t happen for almost two weeks because the special session on the gas tax that began Wednesday has put the regular session on hold.
Daniel Sparkman, Ivey’s spokesman, said the budgets are important to the governor, but they won’t be presented until March 19, after lawmakers are finished dealing with the “task at hand.”
“During her State of the State address, Governor Ivey laid out her proposals for the 2020 budgets to the people of Alabama,” Sparkman said. “Though the budgets are important, right now the Legislature must focus on the task at hand, the Rebuild Alabama plan. This critical infrastructure legislation package is vital to improving public safety, economic development and quality of life in Alabama.” Read more.