House on track to vote on state budget

House on track to vote on state budget

MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - The State of Alabama is having trouble "living within its means," and is no closer to getting its budget in shape.

Monday evening the House Black Caucus put forward a strategy to fund services instead of cutting them. They want to start by expanding Medicaid to poor Alabamians.

Meanwhile, the governor is threatening to veto the closest thing the legislature has to a budget.

"A special session is certainly more likely," said Governor Robert Bentley.

Time is passing quickly in Montgomery, and it looks like lawmakers will have a few more work days tacked onto their schedule.

"I'm looking at options that should be out there for the people of this state, and for these legislators that have to make these tough decisions. We're going to pass as budget and live within our means," said Senator Pro-Tem Del Marsh.

Marsh and the Governor promise to keep working toward a solution all the way to the end, but they have a different idea on the urgency of passing a balanced budget.

"Hope springs eternal and I believe there still is an opportunity for some revenue bills. Not much, there's not many days left," said Bentley.

Marsh on the other hand, said, "I think there's plenty of time left. I'm not worried about getting budgets passed, I think we'll get them passed. But I do worry that we don't want to make a hasty decision and not include the people of this state in some of those decisions, especially when it comes to tax increases, which I do not support."

If there is a special session, lawmakers would get an additional 12 meeting days in a one-month period - at a cost to the state of about $100,000 per week.

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