The Alabama Senate has passed a budget that officials say would force cuts in services and employee layoffs, but it’s not expected to be the last word.The budget would spend $1.6 billion from the state General Fund, a reduction of $200 million, 11 percent from this year.The budget passed by a vote of 20-13.Senators then adjourned for the session, ending it after the 29th day, one day short of the allowed 30.
The budget now goes back to the House of Representatives, which could send it to Gov. Robert Bentley tonight.The House passed a similar version last month. Bentley said he would veto that budget, calling it “unworkable” and “irresponsible.”The governor has traveled the state for months seeking support for his $541 million tax package, but it did not pass.He has promised to call lawmakers back in for a special session.
Senate budget chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur acknowledged that tonight just before the Senate adjourned to end the session.”Our job is not done and we’ll be back,” Orr said. “At that time I hope we’ll be able to come with a resolution that will adequately fund our state government.”The budget includes a set of conditional appropriations spelling out how additional revenue above the $1.6 billion would be allocated, such as if the Legislature approved tax increases during a special session.