Session Begins to Wind Down

Montgomery, AL – Time is getting short in this year's legislative session. There are major concerns a shaky budget compromise between Governor Bob Riley and lawmakers will not survive. Some of the concern involves the state general fund budget and the revenue measures that would help balance it. The House Government Finance and Appropriations Committee has not yet addressed two significant bills that are part of that compromise. One would raise severance taxes on natural gas production along the Gulf Coast. The other would postpone the final payday for state employees during the next fiscal year. Committee chairman John Knight says the budget agreement may fail, and that would force legislators to hold a special session. That could last 30 days and cost the state about 400-thousand dollars.