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Alabama and Florida Legislatures work on Budget Issues

This week in Tallahassee it is budget week. Legislative committees will spend most of this week working on the state budget although state legislators will also discuss offshore oil drilling, a major jobs bills and reapportionment. With a projected $3 billion shortfall, most of the focus will be on prioritizing programs for possible cuts.

The House and Senate panels that are responsible for dealing with reapportionment will meet jointly this week to discuss two proposed amendments that are scheduled to be on the 2010 ballot. The measures by would require the Legislature to follow standards while establishing new Congressional and legislative districts.

A House panel will hold a workshop to develop possible legislation to lift the state's 20-year-old ban on oil drilling. The workshop by the House Select Policy Council on Strategic and Economic Planning will focus on oil and gas accidents and responses, regulatory requirements and competing uses of state waters.

Also this week, Gov. Charlie Crist and the rest of the Cabinet will hear a presentation from Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner J. Thomas Cardwell on debt collection regulation.

In Montgomery, the Alabama Legislature held budget hearings last week and will do so again this week. The States General Fund Budget is facing a significant shortfall and may face a 12-percent proration this year, in addition to the shortage next yeat. While many areas are being looked at in the state's budget, right now the Alabama Credit Union Administration appears to be unaffected since it is independently funded by credit unions.

If you have any questions regarding these or any legislative issues, please do not hesitate to contact, in Alabama, LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs/Staff Counsel, Will McCarty or, in Florida, LSCU Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Mark Landreth.