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Alabama Legislative Session Begins This Week

In Montgomery, the 2010 Session of the Alabama Legislative Session begins on Tuesday. The biggest issue will be the budgets for both the Education Fund and the General Fund. Without the federal stimulus money the state received last year, both budgets are facing significant shortages. The General Fund Budget (which funds all non-education state functions) looks to be down about 30% or $600 million and the Education Fund is projected to be flat. Being an election year, and in the middle of a recession, broad-based tax increases are unpopular solutions, and much of the talk is about serious cuts to agencies and reduction in benefits to state employees and teachers. As of now, most leadership is predicting a budget will be put together, preventing the need for a special session later in the year, but that the chances of any other major legislation moving forward are unlikely. The 2010 legislative session should end in April, and we will have regular updates from the Statehouse as the session progresses.