Alabama Senate approves General Fund budget - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Alabama Senate approves General Fund budget

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature has come up with a nearly $5.8 billion education budget for the upcoming school year that will fund a 2 percent pay raise for K-12 employees, give extra money to all levels of education, and expand the state's pre-kindergarten program.

The House voted 70-26 Thursday afternoon for the budget, which passed the Senate 22-11 Tuesday. Most Republicans supported the budget, while opposition came from Democrats. The budget now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for review.

The state's other budget, the General Fund for non-education agencies, is close to being completed.

The Senate voted 25-5 Thursday night for a $1.74 billion General Fund for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. It is 0.4 percent larger than the current budget. It provides more than $5 million extra for the court system and nearly $17 million extra for prisons. Many other programs, including Medicaid and state troopers, will get about the same amount they are receiving this year. The budget does not include a cost-of-living raise for state workers, who got their last raise in October 2008.

A vote by the House will send the General Fund to the governor.

The $5.77 billion education plan comes after years of recession-riddled budgets and will spend 3.6 percent more than this year.

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