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Last updated 10:03PM ET
March 3, 2021
Governor's Programs Could be Doomed by Tight Budgets
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Alabama legislators return to Montgomery for the 2008 regular session today facing the task of figuring out how to pay for schools and state services with fewer dollars.

A tighter budget is expected to force lawmakers to cut some government and education services and may spell trouble for parts of Governor Bob Riley's legislative agenda.

Lawmakers are projected to have about $500 million less available for the next fiscal year's education budget and about $230 million less for non-education government programs.

The governor is asking the Legislature to increase the allocation for Alabama's voluntary pre-Kindergarten program. Riley is also proposing tax breaks for Alabama families making less than $100,000 a year. He also wants to give tax breaks to small businesses that offer health insurance to employees. The two proposals failed in last year's session.

While an Associated Press survey of lawmakers showed a majority supporting the governor's proposals, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have expressed concern that the state can't afford them.

The session officially begins at noon in the House and Senate and will last for about three and a half months.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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