The Alabama Senate worked into the night to pass the budget to operate the state's non-education agencies. The Senate voted 22-9 Tuesday night to approve the General Fund budget and send it to the House for further consideration.
Budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr said the $1.7 billion budget follows most of the recommendations that Gov. Robert Bentley made when the legislative session began five weeks ago.
Alabama state non-education employees would not get a cost-of-living raise or merit pay raises under a $1.74 billion General Fund budget approved Wednesday by the Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee.
The budget for 2013-14 is mostly level with the budget for the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. It is just a slight increase from the budget recommended by Gov. Robert Bentley. The chairman of the committee, Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur, said the economy is improving but there is still a shortage of tax revenue for the General Fund budget.
Alabama's governor is proposing an education budget that gives small increases to all levels of education from kindergarten through college.
Gov. Robert Bentley unveiled his recommended budgets Wednesday. His education budget includes a 2.5 percent pay raise for public school employees and a substantial expansion of Alabama's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds.
Gov. Robert Bentley says his proposed budgets for the new fiscal year are slightly better than this year's budgets.
Bentley told legislators in his State of the State address Tuesday night that Alabama's economy is improving and that's allowing him to recommend more education spending. His plan includes expanding Alabama's pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-olds and giving a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise to teachers. He did not recommend a raise for state employees.
Alabama legislators will get an overview of the state's financial situation before they begin their 2013 legislative session at noon.
The director of the Legislative Fiscal Office, Norris Green, and the state finance director, Marquita Davis, are scheduled to address legislators at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Capitol. The financial overview is the traditional kickoff for each year's session.