Orr: More special sessions may be needed to tackle budget

Orr: More special sessions may be needed to tackle budget

(WAFF) - Governor Bentley released his budget and tax proposals for next year's state budget, one week ahead of legislators' special session on the 2016 budget shortfall.

The governor's office says the state is at a critical point, and must either make cuts to state services or find new revenue.

Senator Arthur Orr said legislators have a lot of work to do - and he's not sure if just one special session will be enough time to find a proper solution.

In some ways, the governor's proposal is similar to recent ones, including spending BP oil spill settlement money, a move which Senator Orr agrees with, saying it is good fiscal policy.

Other items, such as a soda tax, were left off the most recent list of ideas.

"A soda tax wasn't going to be much of a viable tax, so he chose just to drop it from his list of proposed legislation," Orr said.

Bentley aims to increase the state's revenue by some $300-million. However, Senator Orr explained that not all legislators agree with Bentley's vision to balance the budget.

"Do you raise taxes, do you just merely cut - which we did in the regular session, that Governor Bentley vetoed - or do you look at un-earmarking some revenue streams to provide the general fund some growth revenue," Orr said.

After a two-week break, the special session will resume Aug. 3.

"Right now, it looks like we've got some things that the House and Senate can both agree upon, however it's probably not enough revenue to adequately fund state government, so we still have some work to do," said Orr.

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